the Very Rev. Jonathan Lean, Dean of St. David’s Cathedral in Wales.
Psalm 26 is attributed to King David. When you read the prose you can reflect upon the life of David as he strives to vindicate himself before God. It is an offering to God of a life dependent upon God.
Set in the second half of the 8th century BC at the beginning of his prophetic ministry, the prophet Isaiah reflects upon the situation of the city of Jerusalem and of God’s pronouncement of judgement on the arrogant. It is a hard hitting prophecy and one that cannot easily be read without seeing parallels with our modern world.
In this reading Paul is frustrated that he is unable to be with the church in Thessalonica. He can see that the fruits of his ministry are beginning to ripen and he rejoices in the witness of the church. Despite being unable to be with the church as they face persecution and difficulties; he appeals to them to be strong despite his absence and rely upon God and his providence.
In the light of these readings how do you see the world?
Do you consider that our society makes life difficult to be a Christian and do you derive strength from your faith on the foundations set by the early Christians (that is reflecting upon what they went through and the hardships that they endured in the face of persecution)?
Is our ‘labour in vain’ or are we encouraging the world as did the church in Thessalonica with our witness and uncompromising stand regarding the gospel and its truth?
Heavenly Father, give us strength in this troubled world to be strong for your sake to enable people to live according to your word and proclaim your gospel faithfully, in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen
The Very Rev. Jonathan Lean is Dean of St. David’s Cathedral in Wales.