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A message for the week starting on Sunday 3 July 2022

Lectionary Week: 4th Sunday of Pentecost

Prescribed Texts: 2 Kings 5:1-14, Psalm 30, Galatians 6: (1-6),7-16, Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

The Precious Gift of Life

Focus Text:  Psalms 30

Reading Psalm 30, I became very aware of the value of this life, here on earth. And the more I read the Psalm, the more it seems like a joyful song of praise to God, where the psalmist rejoices in God’s wonderful gift of life.

Life is good, because death, the opposite of life, is dreadful and frightful (verses 3 & 9). Where death reigns, there is mourning and a sackcloth (verse 11).

Life is good, because God healed him/her (verse 2). Therefore, there is now dancing instead of mourning. God “removed my black clothes and dressed me with joy” (verse 11).

Life is good, because it is a symbol of God’s favour that lasts a lifetime, while His wrath lasts a moment (verse 5a). And when the morning breaks with joy after a night of weeping, you know that life is a precious gift from God (verse 5b).

However, although experiencing God’s favour may create the impression that you stand firm on a strong mountain (verse 7a), it is wrong and dangerous to think that you are invincible (verse 6). Life is precious, but it is fragile. The moment God turns His face away, all confidence is removed and fear returns (verse 7b).

Life continues to be good in the presence of the living God. In His presence there is dancing and joy (verse 11). Therefore, the psalmist sings to God and thanks Him (verse 12).

Maybe this is the reason why this Psalm was used for the dedication of the temple (the title of the Psalm) – if we want to live the good life that God gives to us, we need to worship Him and live in His presence.

Reading this Psalm reminded me that I have been privileged to learn in person – from people living with HIV – how precious indeed, and also how fragile, the gift of life is.

To think about: How does the thought that “life is a precious gift from God”, change the way we worship God? How does the thought that “life is fragile”, change the way we conduct our daily lives?

Written by: Rev. Nelis du Toit, Director of CHABAHIVA, trained Churches Channels of Hope (CCoH) facilitator