We had services in Tervola church on the second Sunday of July. There was one sermon and some singing. I meant to remember the psalm text that was read as an introduction to the sermon, but I forgot it. I wonder if it was Psalm 85 or 86? or 84?
On top of that, I dozed off during the sermon. The speaker might well have wondered why Markku Jurmu’s wife had not slept enough during the winter and spring, when there were no services. Here she was, sleeping after such a long time without services.
I am now holding a small volume that contains the New Testament and the Psalms. The three psalms, of which one was read by the speaker at our services, all have deep meanings, prayers and even appeals to God for help. ”Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young.” ”Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.” ”Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.” ”But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
I think this summer has been a summer of psalms.
One of the songs that was sung after the services was a favorite song of mine, Song of Zion 299: “In your mercy alone I forever delight”. I am always touched by these words: ”This iniquitous world to depart I am yearning.” And the last verse of the song is like a personal prayer to God: ”Though temptations oppress and they weigh to the ground, in this valley of death shadows gather me round, oh, forget not Your own! Father, hear, hearts are weeping. On your grace-promise sown, joy at last we’ll be reaping.”
A friend that I met outside the church after the services told me how, during her vacation trip, she had met a person who had been the minister of Tervola parish a long time ago. This minister had said that he had been listening to SRK’s Summertime Services Broadcasts. He had also been wondering how believing young people had fared without services, and if they had taken the time to listen to broadcast services.
How very pertinent worries and thoughts!
One of the most frequently used coronavirus terms last winter was herd immunity or herd protection. We could now also talk about ”sheep herd protection”, knowing that young people would surely have needed that kind of protection in these hard times.
As part of a sheep herd, one is safe from external dangers. It is safer to be with someone than to be alone. We always have our own personal battle against sin. But even in that battle we derive help, strength and consolation from the other members of the sheep herd.
It is wonderful to hope and think that young people will soon be able to gather at services again. In the safety of the herd.
Text: Hanna-Maria Jurmu
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original blog post here.
Kansainvälistä ja valtakunnallista muistiviikkoa vietetään ensi viikolla. Ihmisten eläessä yhä pidempään muistisairauksia sairastavien lukumäärä kasvaa joka puolella maailmaa. Muistisairaus liittyy myös yhä useamman suomalaisen elämään joko läheisen tai oman sairastumisen muodossa.