Weekly Devotion

from Redeemer Pastor Ron Bonner

 I will listen to what the Lord God is saying;

  for you speak peace to your faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to you.
Truly, your salvation is very near to those who fear you,
that your glory may dwell in our land. 
Steadfast love and faithfulness have met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Faithfulness shall spring up from the earth,
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed grant prosperity,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness shall go before the Lord
and shall prepare for God a pathway.

                                 Psalm 85:8-13

Psalm 85 is a psalm requesting mercy, requesting salvation. One writer says it is a request of David; another said it was written when the children of Israel were returning after the exile. Regardless of the time in which it was written, it is a timeless psalm for those who seek the Lord in their lives. Do we not need mercy in our lives, do we not feel like we are in exile from our place of worship, from our friends and family?
In our reading for Sunday, we start with verse 8 of Psalm 85, which states that I will listen or hear what the Lord God is saying. One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Do you hear what I hear?
“Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see
Way up in the sky little lamb
Do you see what I see
A star, a star
Dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear
A song, a song
High above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea.”
In my imagination, I envision that night wind to be the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that hovered over the deep and in perfect three-part harmony, said, “let us make humankind in our image. I believe that this night wind was the same Holy Spirit that led us into Baptism into Christ. The Holy Spirit spoke to the lamb, and then the lamb spoke to the Shepherd boy. And the little shepherd boy heard what the lamb said because he listened.
Beloved, with all of the stress in the world today, who are you listening to? What voices are informing your spirits these days? May I suggest that we take a break from the airways and like Ezekiel listen to that small still voice that is the voice of God. I know that is what I am planning to do next week as I enter a staycation to listen more for what God is saying and not what the world is offering.
I want to hear what the lamb hears, I want to listen to what the Holy Lamb of God hears and says as well.
May God bless each of you with mercy, grace, and salvation.
Pastor Ron
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