Psalm 119:49-56 – Zayin
Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my distress, that your promise gives me life.
The arrogant utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law.
When I think of your ordinances from of old, I take comfort, O Lord.
Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, those who forsake your law.
Your statutes have been my songs wherever I make my home.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord, and keep your law.
This blessing has fallen to me, for I have kept your precepts.
I had the honor of leading a funeral service this morning. That sounds like a bit of a strange statement, but I have found that there is a deep holiness that happens when leading a service of witness to the resurrection, especially in the case of what we shared today. We were celebrating the life of a 90+ year old woman who grew up in Wyoming and was baptized as a child at PCW. She lived all but about 8 years of her life here in Wyoming. In her will, she specifically requested that Psalm 23 and the whole of John 14 be read. While it was a simple service (no music, a short family remembrance), it was a beautiful service because it was celebrating the life of a beautiful and wonderful woman who has now entered into her promised rest and into the place prepared for her. As I was reading John 14, I kept looking over at her son and seeing him with his eyes closed as I read – it very much looked like the words were having a deep impact upon him as I read. I take no credit for this as I was simply the one voicing the words written 2,000 years ago. I had arrived at the cemetery a bit early and saw this figure upon one of the graves and was deeply moved by what I saw – what looked to me like a child in his mother’s lap with her eyes uplifted in what looks like a strong and hopeful expression. And there below “The eternal God is thy refuge.” In God and in God’s word, we find refuge – we find songs that go with us wherever we go (I remember the story of one of the Beruit hostages who said that his scripture memorization from when he grew up was his Bible during captivity), God stays with us through the long night, and brings comfort in distress.