Daily Reflection
July 16th, 2007

Sue Crawford

Department of Political Science and International Affairs
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Our help is in the name of the Lord.

The Psalm for today reminds us that God is our help. It reminds us of the help given to God’s people in the past. It reminds us of the importance of recalling the ways that we have been rescued and giving praise to God for them.

The other two readings for today, on the other hand, serve as stark reminders that we don’t get rescued from everything. As we begin the story in Exodus most of us know that one baby boy will be rescued from the slaughter and that God will use him to rescue the Israelites. Yet, there were many sons who were not rescued from the Pharaoh’s drowning. Jesus tells his Apostles that he will not rescue them from family conflict. Some believers experience persecution within their own families. Following Jesus, rather than family customs and pressures, can become a clear and costly choice. Even those of us who do not face this kind of harsh treatment, may find ourselves suffering from family conflict. Following Jesus may call us to do things that others in our family do not want us to do. Family members may argue we are not considering the potential danger to our children or our marriage, or our responsibilities to in-laws and parents. Jesus warns us against the temptation of paying more attention to what our families think of us than to what He asks of us. Our ultimate purpose is not to make our children or parents, or in-laws (or peers, or supervisor, or co-workers) happy. If we seek to “find” peace and acceptance that way, we’ll lose it. There is no rescue there.

Paths to rescue and reward come at the end of the gospel reading. Sacrifice and suffering that comes for the sake of Jesus brings life. Jesus promises rewards for efforts we make to support people who serve Him. Even small gestures like giving a drink or welcoming a fellow believer will not go unnoticed. This still leaves us wondering about terrible suffering that seems senseless. However, help in times of trouble doesn’t necessarily mean rescue – it may be other believers around to support and sustain us. This tangible support reminds us that God is ever present as our help, even, perhaps especially, when we face crises from which we would much rather be rescued.

Our help is in the name of the Lord.
We praise you Lord for being our ever present help. We thank you for rescue from trouble and for perseverance and hope to get through times of trouble.
We thank you Jesus for helping us to clarify life choices in the midst of clamoring demands. We ask for your continued help in discernment.
We praise you Holy Spirit for prompting others in our communities to help and to support us. We ask you to prompt us to day to provide support and encouragement to those in need of our help and hope.
Our help is in the name of the Lord.

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