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Thursday, August 28, 2014

“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake.”

John Rippons’s “How Firm a Foundation”
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

Reflection
I can still hear my grandmother exclaiming “My soul” whenever she was astonished at something. But how often do you hear anyone saying that these days, or how often do any of us even think about our soul? We may go to the gym and try to eat the right foods to keep our physical body strong and vibrant, but what do we do to exercise and feed our soul, our spiritual selves?


As we explore hymn texts in the new Presbyterian hymnal Glory to God, we come to an old favorite, “How Firm a Foundation,” and there it is in the last verse: not once, but twice, John Rippon refers to the soul. “The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I will not desert to its foes; that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never forsake.”

Going to church is a really good way to feed the soul; together in community we sing, pray, and are reminded that God loves and cares for each of us. A time of quiet meditation is also a great way to nurture the soul, and Fourth Church is offering more and more ways of engaging in this ancient practice. For many of us, going to a museum, a concert, reading a book, or going on a retreat are all times to nourish the soul.

We can reach a point and discover that so much of what is the best in life can nourish the soul when we are intentional about honoring our spiritual selves.
The soul needs exercise just like the rest of our body—and the best part of all is you can’t get a strained muscle in your soul!

Prayer
O Spirit, which brought all that is out of nothing, which brought me into life from nothing, guide my soul even now so that every day I can come closer to you and be ready for that day when my soul shall be rejoined with yours in the never-ending eternity of love. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music


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