Friday, December 5, 2008

Praise the Lord

My heart has been full the last few days, probably due to this particularly academic chapter of faith regarding hospitality comes to a close with graduation.

My prayers and my heart have been particularly focused on prayers for the oppressed. I thought I had begun such meditations with general prayers for the generally suffering; but I realize that my idea of the oppressed was limited by specific images that did not include myself, my neighbors, my friends, my family.
We are all sufferers and we are all in need of the provision and liberation only Christ can offer!
“From the beginning to the end, the people of the Bible are people of hope. All of them saw the star of promise in the long night of this world, and glimpsed the first streaks of daybreak colours heralding God’s new day.”

I found a the most beautiful hymn and sought after a prayer to accompany it. Unbeknownst to me until this very hour was a traditional pattern of prayer for from Luther's Small Catechism. Today we are encouraged to pray:

Friday: For the preaching of the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and for the spread of His knowledge throughout the whole world; for the persecuted and oppressed; for the sick and dying.
(more prayers)

God yu tekkem laef blong mi from
A Melanesian arrangement of the hymn "Take my life."
(Read more about the history and use of this piece in the film "The Thin Red Line.")

Psalm 146

Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.

I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortal men, who cannot save.

When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,

the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
the LORD, who remains faithful forever.

He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,

the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.

The LORD watches over the alien
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

The LORD reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD.


Wendy said...

Are you going to graduation?

Joe said...

Excellent interpretation of oppression. It's amazing how prayer and reflection can open our eyes and help us see the world in a whole new way.

Patrick said...

I loved the use of that in The Thin Red Line. Thanks for posting it.

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