Text – Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22:
1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
those he redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
17 Some were sick through their sinful ways,
and because of their iniquities endured affliction;
18 they loathed any kind of food,
and they drew near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress;
20 he sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from destruction.
21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind.
22 And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices,
and tell of his deeds with songs of joy.
Psalm 107 is a Psalm of Thanksgiving especially composed for people who had ben involved in various dangers (lost in a caravan journey, imprisoned, sick, or endangered at sea) and had vowed to God in the midest of their dangerous experience. The Psalm gives an occasion to offer thanks and fulfill their vows.
The Psalm consists of four different categories of celebrants: lost in the desert (4-9), prisoner because of wrongdoing (10-16), sick because of sin (17-22), and lost at sin (23-32). In each case, the dangerous condition was reversed when the individual repented. Offering sacrifices and giving testimony are considered to be a proper response.
The Psalm is good for Lent in that it prompts reflection about the mercy of God in the midst of our struggles. It is also a reminder to us of what we have vowed to the Lord and whether we have fulfilled those vows. Such reminders can be lost in a busy, distracted life, and Lent slows us down to meditate on our relationship to God.
Lord God, faithful and steadfast One, we give thanks to you for your constancy in our lives and the ways that you have sustained us in spite of our falls, our rebellion, and our indifference. In this season of Lent, may we be mindful of our own lives and the many ways that we need your sustenance. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.