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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 104:24–34, 35b      

O Lord, how manifold are your works!
   In wisdom you have made them all;
   the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
creeping things innumerable are there,
   living things both small and great.
There go the ships,
   and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

These all look to you
   to give them their food in due season;
when you give to them, they gather it up;
   when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
   when you take away their breath, they die
   and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
   and you renew the face of the ground.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
   may the Lord rejoice in his works—
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
   who touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
   for I rejoice in the Lord.

Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord! (NRSV)

Reflection
This psalm is replete with praise and wonder for God’s creation. The words are full of joy and call up images of nature in all her glory—a lyrical text whose accompaniment could be the buzzing bees, the pounding surf, an eagle’s cry, the wind through the trees, a thunderstorm.

As I read it, I notice how centering the words are, how they boil down my human existence to such a simple and pure concept. I am a child of God, a unique creation, loved beyond measure. God will provide for me, just as God provides for the birds, the trees, the animals. God’s hand controls the waves of the ocean and holds up the sun that warms my face. God’s reach is limitless, and none of us are beyond God’s awareness.

Without God, there would be nothing; I would be nothing. Through God, my existence has meaning.

Viewing my life through this lens realigns my perspective. Sure, I still have my responsibilities, my anxieties, my mortgage. I still have to work and try, and I will make mistakes. But God forgives me, and God has a plan for my life.

So this morning, I’ll burst out of my front door, eager to get on with the business of living. I will be mindful of my unique place in God’s creation. I will have renewed gratitude for my life, my loved ones, and even my challenges. In humility I will seek to be a witness to God’s creative spark present in nature and all living beings.

Prayer
Creator God, thank you for the precious gift of life. Guide me to live fully and creatively, in a way that pleases you. Open my eyes and heart to the wonders of your creation. Please keep me mindful and compassionate. Amen.

Written by Holly O’ Mara, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church


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