Epiphany 3, Thursday, Year B

Inspired by Psalm 62:5-12

“For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.” Psalm 62:5 (NRSV)

We put our hope in so many things. Jobs, financial security, and power can be useful tools, but intellectually we understand that they will not meet our every need (though we frequently act as though they will). We also put our hope in people: friends and family. Yet as much as we love them, and as close as we may be to them, they (and we) are still sinful human beings, and are also incapable of meeting one’s every need. Even the person we love most in the world will sometimes disappoint us.

And that’s fine. Learning to live with one another’s shortcomings and practicing forgiveness when we inadvertently hurt each other is an important part of mature love. Expecting another person to make us happy or save us from our troubles is unfair to that person, because we’re turning them into an idol, rather than a person to be loved and respected in his or her own right. Only God is capable of meeting such high expectations; only God will never disappoint us, and only God is worthy of our entire hope and trust. Jobs, financial security, and power can help us be good stewards; loved ones can support us and build us up and help us on our journeys. But only God can deliver us and be our salvation.

Let us pray. Majestic God, you have blessed us with the capacity to love other human beings deeply. Enable us to keep our hopes and expectations of each other reasonable and realistic, that we may reserve our worship for you alone. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.