My Friday fast and Bible reading brought me back to our guiding verse:
If your instructions hadn’t sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery.
Consider: "your instructions" in Hebrew is "your torah (law)." It is only from the law of God, fulfilled by the blood of Christ offered on the cross, that we can find abiding joy. Without Christ's fulfillment of the law, we live under a crushing, joyless burden of sin and fearful religion. But Christ brings us joy - So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (Romans 5:11)
Consider: the Hebrew word for "died" in this verse is the root of a Biblical word for the place of spiritual destruction, and for the name of its demonic overseer, Abaddon. "Misery" here is affliction, poverty and frustration. But for Christ's suffering and death to fulfill the law, we would belong to this miserable realm, separated from God. But now we are Christ's brothers and sisters, children of the Heavenly Father, heirs of Heaven.
Reflect: Our Sunday worship, especially Holy Communion, brings us back to the saving work of Christ. Pray for fresh awareness of his sacrifice for us; give thanks for the benefits that we have in him, and pray for his power and joy to fill our lives and the lives of the people on the Rosebud.