Daily Reading and Prayer: Monday June 8

Psalm 116 has a verse which has come to me often, particularly when I’m with families who are in a time of loss. While grief is never easy, sometimes families are comforted by their loved one having lived a long life, filled with family, friends and faith. Their death is seen as a natural “next step,” entrusted into the safe-keeping of God, to be with those who have gone before. It is in such situations that we can echo the words of the Psalmist: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.”

Psalm 116
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.

I trusted in the Lord when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
in my alarm I said,
“Everyone is a liar.”

What shall I return to the Lord
for all his goodness to me?

I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.

Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful servants.
Truly I am your servant, Lord;
I serve you just as my mother did;
you have freed me from my chains.

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord—
in your midst, Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord.

Prayer
Father, death is not an easy thing.
Despite our faith, when a loved one dies, we feel their loss so keenly.
We remember that even Jesus wept when confronted by Lazarus’ grieving sister.
And so, Father, bring comfort to the hearts of those who grieve.
For some, grief is fresh and new; for others, grief is still a daily ache, many years after the loss.
To all, may the assurance of our faith, that our loved ones are in your care, that we shall be together again, help us to move forward in hope and peace, care and love,
Knowing that the day will come when, to that place prepared for us,
We too shall be welcomed home.
Amen.