March 24, 2021
INVITATION and READING
God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
(1 Corinthians 1: 9)
Lamentations 3: 19-33
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.
28 Let him sit alone in silence,
for the Lord has laid it on him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
there may yet be hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.
31 For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.
Glory to you, O Lord, my God!
I’m sure many can relate to our faith being tested when bad things happen. We pray, but God doesn’t seem to hear our cries. The answers we demand are not always revealed to us. We feel abandoned and confused. We might even lash out at the Lord in our pain. Still, He waits patiently for us.
Finding some time to just be still in the Lord with so much ill swirling around us this Lenten season has shown a brighter light on God’s faithfulness to me, and to all of us. I’m learning that I can let the guilt of my unbelief go because every morning brings a clean slate from a God whose compassion never fails us. And, because of God’s great love for us, we are forgiven – we have hope – our prayers are heard.
Thomas Obadiah Chisolm (1866-1960) was an American songwriter of several Christian hymns. He also penned over 1,200 sacred poems throughout his lifetime. He suffered from bouts of ill health which adversely affected his life from time to time. As he grew older, he realized that God was always there for him – through good times and bad.
While away from home on a mission trip, Thomas often wrote to one of his good friends, William Runyan (1870–1957), a musician affiliated with both the Moody Bible Institute and Hope Publishing Company. Several poems were exchanged in these letters. Runyan was so moved by one poem that he set it to music. “Great is Thy Faithfulness” (UMH #140) was published in 1923. After some time, the hymn was made popular around the world by the Billy Graham evangelistic crusades, and is a favorite at Calvary as well.
Dear Lord, we give thanks that your mercies are new each morning and your faithfulness toward us is great. We humbly come to you for forgiveness of our sins and for our wavering trust in you. May our impatience find increased faith in your infinite wisdom. May our pain find release in Christ’s death on the cross. And may we seek to follow you more closely this day, and always. For our hope is steadfast in you, Almighty God. Amen.
Offered by Joche Wilmot, Director of Music Ministries and
dedicated to the loving memory of our friend, Joyce Friel.