Ordinary Time
January 31, 2018

Scripture Reading: Psalm 147:1-11, 20c

Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
   for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
   he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the broken-hearted,
   and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
   he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
   his understanding is beyond measure.
 The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
   he casts the wicked to the ground. –Psalm 147:1-6

I saw a news story recently about a local group providing services to persons in Haiti still recovering from the horrible earthquake that killed over 100,000 people eight years ago. I was particularly struck by the interview with one mother living in a lean-to shack with no running water or electricity. They interviewed her because she spoke English. She spoke English because she was deported from the USA having been forced to make the heartbreaking decision to leave her two daughters behind as they were American citizens and she knew the future she was returning to was grim and dangerous. Ironic isn’t it that faith groups are ministering to people in their desperate situations because of the actions of our own country.

I praise God for the work of the hands of God’s servants healing the brokenhearted and binding up their wounds. While such work is needed, our work at home doing justice has become even more imperative. The USA government recently ruled that the refugees we took in after that same earthquake must return to Haiti over the next year or so even though that country does not have the resources to support the population there now. The report gave no reason for the deportation order. It seemed an arbitrary decision based on someone thinking the refugees were here long enough.

I also saw a headline recently that asked the question whether democracy remained a viable form of governance. I did not have time to read the article, but the answer that came to my mind is that democracy can be a great form of governance if we all work at making it so. What do you think?

Prayer: Lord, you created each of us with skills and talents designed to bring about your Kingdom guide us in doing just that. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.