December 31, 2021

‘O God, Our Help in Ages Past'

Psalm 90:1-17

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.

—  Psalm 90:1

In our congregation it is a tradition to sing “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” during our New Year’s Day worship service. Some other churches like to sing this song as they worship on the last day of the closing year.

This song paraphrases Psalm 90. Even though Psalm 90 can be considered a song of lament, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” summarizes the content of this psalm in an uplifting way.

As we end this year, we reflect on the fact that God has been “our help in ages past” as well as “our hope for years to come.” When we look back on the year we have just gone through, not one of us can say we knew it would turn out the way it did. We cannot see into the future.

Yet God has been our help, and he has been our strength. God has “been our dwelling place through all generations.” So when­ever we face uncertainty, we can trust that, with God, we can find courage and strength.

God has made all things, and “a thousand ages in [his] sight are like an evening gone.” Yet the Lord our God will always continue to be faithful.

In the final stanza of the song, we profess our trust in God. We sing, “Still be our guard while troubles last, and our eternal home!” We have confidence to face the future because our hope for eternal life is found in God our Savior.

Dear God, thank you for being with us through this past year. We trust that we can always make our dwelling with you. Through Christ we pray. Amen.

About the author — Brian Kuyper

Brian Kuyper is the lead pastor at a church in Taber, Alberta. He has served in two congregations in southern Alberta over the past 12 years. He is married to Brenda, and they have three school-age children.

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