Walking in the Land of the Living

Psalm 116:1-9 is the psalm for this coming Sunday.  Yesterday I had my yearly check up on my pacemaker.  Everything was just fine.  The battery itself is good for another 10 years.  I said, “I’ll guess I’ll just have to keep on going then.”

When I read the psalm this morning in preparation for the Friday morning Bible Class I teach, the psalm struck a chord with me.  I am familiar with being encompassed by “the snares of death.”  I have discovered that the Lord is gracious, when I “was brought low, he saved me.”  Therefore I can say with the Psalmist, “Return, O my soul, to your rest.”  The Lord has delivered me from death and I am able to continue to walk in the land of the living, even now.  That is, I am able to continue to serve Him in walking about the altar in the sanctuary and in my everyday life to just plain walk about.

I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.

God of power and mercy, through the Passion and resurrection of your Son you have freed us from the bonds of death and the anguish of separation from you.  Be with us on our pilgrimage, and help us offer you a sacrifice of praise, fulfill our vows, and glorify you in the presence of all your people, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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