Psalm 90:1-8 [9-11] 12 (NRSV)
1Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3You turn us back to dust, and say, "Turn back, you mortals."
4For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.
5You sweep them away; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning;
6in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.
7For we are consumed by your anger; by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
8You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance.[
9For all our days pass away under your wrath; our years come to an end like a sigh.
10The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even then their span is only toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11Who considers the power of your anger? Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.]
12So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.
Perspective is important. Being new to Los Angeles and our neighborhood, I look for the higher spots to see better. COVID, the election, or the death of a loved one can leave us feeling disoriented, not sure what’s really next. Trinity Lutheran, Hawthorne, is celebrating 75 years of ministry with a day school and preschool that has seen many seasons. The psalmist measures 70-80 years a good life! Yet, the psalmist says, in the grand sweep of God’s grace, it is a blink of an eye.
I thank God for your congregation today, for the Holy Spirit’s work to plant and nurture it; and for your connections to it. At the end of the day, the people are the church, even though at times we may obsess over buildings and property and stuff. We are God’s people gathered around Word and Sacrament.
Give us your eyes to see life for your people and your church, no matter where they have been planted. Give us a vision of hope for the next chapter in our local congregation’s ministry. In Jesus’s name. Amen.