Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 24: Year 2
“Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.” (Psalm 31:5)
This reading of Psalm 31, and in particular, this verse, stands out for me. I have conducted many “Last Rite” services in my priesthood. Every time I close, or shortly thereafter, the dying person will at some point, open their eyes and gaze at a presence in the room with joy and acceptance. I am absolutely convinced that at that point, whether in a hospital room or in a private home, we are all standing on Holy Ground. God sends for us with the saints and the angels of heaven.
This was an experience that occurred with the mother of a parishioner while at Chapel Hill University Hospital, North Carolina, two years ago when I was not in the room at the time. I had been a regular minister and counselor for her for over a year and had grown to know and love her very much. While she was not a regular visitor to our Church at Saint Paul’s in the Pines, I got regular reports from her daughter who remains a dedicated and faithful member. Her sick mother was not a citizen of the United States but is a full citizen of the family of saints of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
When I was told by her daughter that she, (her mother), opened her eyes as if to focus on something in the hospital room, I cried with joy! I knew then that Our Lord Jesus had received her into his heavenly realm. Her body might have been still keeping its heartbeat and labored breathing rhythms, but her soul had already been placed into the hands of our Savior. I thanked God that I knew this and I pass this on to all who read this blog. So also, Christel Smith says, “Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.” Thank You Lord Jesus. And thank you for Christel in our lives. Amen.
Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John