Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Priest: Minister of the Kingdom of GodPsalm 119: 89-104
If your law had not been my delight I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts for by them you have preserved my life. (vv. 92-93)
Traditionally called The Great Psalm, the 176 verses in relation to the ‘teaching of Yahweh' describes a testimony of the Psalmist who is oriented by the eternal word as he keeps treading in a deceptive world. David Noel Freedman in his book – Psalm 119 Exaltation of Torah states, “The alep-to-taw structure of Psalm 119 shares with the other acrostic psalms a clear message of totality and completeness—as we would say, “from A to Z”... tôrat yhwh is everything to the psalmist, and acrostic form provides apposite reinforcement of the psalmist’s message. The acrostic form also expresses the perfection of tôrat yhwh : it is wholly divine (v. 89) and wonderful (v. 129). Freedman, David Noel, 1922– Psalm 119 : the exaltation of Torah / by David Noel Freedman p. Cm. — (Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California, San Diego ; v. 6, 88-89)
Priests are oriented to be intimate with the Scripture as they keep themselves close to the calling to be ministers of the Kingdom of God. The faith community is inclined to believe that priests have it all and are privileged, but the Psalmist in this psalm expresses that the privilege to be intimate with the teaching of Yahweh is all that matters to him.
Indeed it is in a chaotic time and scenario that Psalm 119 was composed, when every other revelation and regulation of God had crumbled under the power and pleasure of the Babylonian Empire. We read this psalm today in drastic circumstances where our spiritual resources are being drained out. The Psalmist does not ignore his inner afflictions and deviations but affirms that the inexhaustible teaching of Yahweh will preserve his life and that of those who are oriented and directed by it.
O Triune God, we pray for our Bishops, Achens, and all others who selflessly serve in the ministry of the word and sacrament, and in shepherding the holy church. Help them to serve you faithfully amid all situations of life. Let all glory, honor, and praise be unto thee, O Triune God, both now and forever. Amen.
The fruitfulness of a Church can be observed in the sending of her faithful for the ministry of the Church. As we celebrate Clergy Sunday this weekend, let us pray for the Clergy and make earnest efforts to send more of our own for the ordained ministry of our church. Let our faith communities be spiritual havens to make this a visible reality.
Rev. Reuben Abraham Mammen,
Thane Regional Missionary, The Diocese of Mumbai