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Friday, July 19, 2013

Today’s Reading | Psalm 95:1–7

O come, let us sing to the Lord;
     let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
     let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
     and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
     the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
     and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down,
     let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture,
     and the sheep of his hand.

O that today you would listen to his voice! (NRSV)


I used to say that I am an avid hiker and camper. I don’t say it so much anymore because, like many people, the confines of the city and the busyness of life often get in the way of my passion for the outdoors. I suppose, though, that this unrequited longing makes those precious escapes into the wilderness all the more profound and meaningful. For me, there is something deeply spiritual about getting away from the comforts of civilization and living in the midst of nature.

When I am able to answer this call of the wild, one of the feelings that I inevitably experience is a deep sense of gratitude toward the God who creates and gives. I stand in awe of the God who holds together the depths of the earth, the heights of the mountains, and the powers of the seas. I am humbly thankful that God has made this incredible world for us to enjoy.

Yet I am also reminded that this fragile world is not just for us to enjoy, but also to care for and to love as God loves it. And with this I am reminded of how best to express my gratitude: by doing all that I can to protect and preserve God’s gift to us all. Indeed, what greater thanks can we give?


Thank you, God, for the wondrous world you have given us. Help me and others to treat it with the care it deserves as a creation of your love. Amen.

Written by John W. Vest, Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry

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