1 You, Lord, showed favor to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins,
3 You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
4 Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps. [Psalm 85, NIV]
His steps…our steps….
We aren’t ever really standing still. There is always movement. The challenge is always in the direction.
God draws me near, but do I resist? Do I see His faithfulness and provision? Am I in His path? Under His guidance?
We always have options. But His grace covers a whole lotta ground. When I wander, am distracted, and deliberately choose an ugly path He loves me and waits for me to recognize my errors. Sometimes it is a long wait while I dig in my heels and protest my justification for my behavior. Sometimes there are lots of tears, hurt, and anger. And, unfortunately, there are usually the natural consequences that are still a part of my reality.
And yet, He prepared The Way even as He prepares the way…
In the name of the Father, + Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have graciously kept me this day. And I pray that you would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into your hands I commend myself, my body, my soul and all things. Let your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.
Luther’s Evening Prayer
Come, Lord Jesus!