Text: Vaula Eskeli
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
We have been living in uncertainty for months, constantly aware of the global situation. News of the horrors of war may have kept us awake at bedtime. Many people worry about the security of their own lives in the midst of this turmoil.
Countless people have felt compassion when they have learnt about the reality of war and have prayed for those who are suffering. Often, when praying, we feel unable to find suitable words. In one such situation I heard someone read David’s psalm (Ps. 31). The reader encouraged his listeners to look up this psalm and to read it. He said that many Ukrainian people read this psalm as a daily prayer in their difficult life situation. I find this psalm personally significant and comforting.
The Book of Psalms was originally a collection of poems and songs. Based on their content, the psalms are divided into hymns and psalms of instruction, consolation, gratitude, prayer and lamentation. They cover the entire human life span and all its fears, shame, remorse, sorrows and joys. They help us communicate even in situations where we lack words. Many of our familiar hymns are based on psalms.
Psalm 31 speaks about security, which is the solid foundation of all things. We remember the motto of the 2021 Summer Services: ”In you, Lord, I have taken refuge”. Although we could not meet in person, the online services proclaimed the message that is a reliable refuge and support at all times. We tend to gradually forget the mottos of Summer Services, but it seems this motto has remained a constant prayer for many of us.
The content of psalm 31 seems especially touching at times when it is pertinent to our own life situation. The most profound meaning of this psalm comes up in the first few verses, which reflect the writer’s trust in God, while he is also praying for help in a difficult life situation:
”In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!” (Ps. 31:2–3.)
This thought-provoking prayer, David’s psalm, embodies the encouraging message of the Book of Psalms. They support and comfort us in faith.
While I was reading this psalm, I remembered clearly the words of the Summer Service motto. The psalm describes the role of human beings in the world. Life is alternately light and dark, occasionally downright oppressive. In the midst of insecurity and anxiety we need not rely on our own strength, but we can rely on God.
In our Church Calendar, psalm 31 is a text for Shrove Sunday, which is followed by Lent, the time leading to Jesus’s death on the cross. Through His own suffering, the Savior has shown us the refuge that will stand even when everything else around it crumbles.
”You take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 31:4–6.)
Erilaisena syntyvä perheenjäsen tuo uusia sävyjä vanhemmuuteen. Kehitysvamma tai jokin muu vamma tuo usein mukanaan erityisiä hoivan tarpeita. On luonnollista, että tällöin vanhempi pohtii omia voimavarojaan, osaamistaan tai jaksamistaan vanhemmuuden äärellä. Osa huolista saattaa toteutua, osa taas ei. Ihmeellisesti elämän antaja, Jumala, antaa erityislapsen vanhemmille voimavaroja ja erityistä taitoa olla juuri tämän lapsen vanhempi. Moni kokeekin pian, että erilaisuus onkin erityisyyttä, sillä lapsi tuo uudenlaista merkitystä ja iloa perheen elämään.
Kodin joulu -levyllä soivat ennen kuulemattomin toteutuksin monet perinteiset joululaulut.
Mihin syntien anteeksiantamus perustuu Raamatun mukaan? Kirjoittaja käy läpi Uuden testamentin anteeksiantamusta käsittelevät kohdat, joiden kautta avautuu monipuolinen ja selkeä kuva aiheesta.