I don't know about you, but one of the things that has been a bit confusing during this pandemic has been what time it is and what day it is. I've found myself on more than one occasion just asking someone, "What day is today?"
There's a psalm in the Hebrew Scriptures, Psalm 31. It's actually quoted in the Service of Compline which is a late night prayer service. And it's also quoted by Jesus on the cross. It says this,
In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge;
let me never let be put to shame:
deliver me in your righteousness. (v. 1)
And then it goes on and says, Lord,
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold;
for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me. (v. 3)
Into your hands I commend my spirit,
for you have redeemed me,
O LORD, O God of truth. (v. 5)
On the cross Jesus quoted this psalm as he commended his life into the hands of the Father. "Into thy hands I commend my spirit." (Luke 23:46)
Later in the psalm, it says,
“My times are always in your hands.”
It may well be that if we have little reminders, as the day goes on, we will have a sense of time. Not determined by a clock, but determined by God.
In Psalm 55, the psalmist says in the morning, at noon day, in the evening, “I cry out to you, O LORD." Maybe a little habit of grace during this time, may be a moment of prayer in the morning. Another one midday. Another in the evening. Using a prayer book or just a moment to pause in silence. Whatever way you do it, take a moment morning, midday, evening.
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
My times are always in your hands.
In 1931, a man named Thomas Dorsey composed a hymn the words of which have been a long standing favorite with many people. President Lyndon Johnson asked for it to be sung at his funeral. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked that it be sung at his funeral. Mahalia Jackson sang it. Aretha Franklin sang it. BB King played it and sang it. Tennessee Ernie Ford sang it. Johnny Cash sang it. It was composed by Thomas Dorsey living in a time when his times were very much discombobulated. His wife died in child birth. Both she and the child died. In his time of grieving, Dorsey wrote the words of the hymn that simply say, "Precious Lord, take my hand."
My times are in thy hands, O LORD.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
This morning. At noonday. In the evening.
God love you. God bless you. And may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.
Bishop Michael Curry
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry is Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. He is the Chief Pastor and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as Chair of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church.
Facebook | @PBMBCurry
Twitter | @BishopCurry
Twitter | @episcopalchurch
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