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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 78:1–7

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
   incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
   I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
   that our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
   we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
   and the wonders that he has done.

He established a decree in Jacob,
   and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
   to teach to their children;
that the next generation might know them,
   the children yet unborn,
and rise up and tell them to their children,
   so that they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
   but keep his commandments. (NRSV)

Reflection
A "glow in the dark" plastic cross on the bedroom dresser when I was four. I could see it from my bed and loved waiting for it to start glowing as my room took on the darkness of night. The picture of Jesus carrying the lamb over his shoulder. It hung on my German Lutheran grandmother's wall. My American born mother crossing herself in the Eastern Orthodox custom of her immigrant parents. She did it every time our family got in the car to start a family vacation. Singing "Come Labor On" around the campfire with the fervent gusto of high school girls at our Methodist youth camp.

We recently sang "Come Labor On" during our morning worship service and my eyes welled up with tears. I was thinking back to that time in high school when our Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) girlfriends adopted that song as "our song." Honestly, at that time, I had no personal faith. I just loved singing the song with such fervor. My tears during the recent singing of the hymn were tears of gratitude that the seeds of faith had been planted in my heart, long before my faith became real.

My family wasn't big on actually talking about God and faith, but they showed me ways in which faith was important to them. That's why I remembered the things I've mentioned already, I’m so thankful my ancestors had a high regard for worship and faith, which they showed in ways other than words, but showed nonetheless.

The psalm says "Give ear, O my people, to my teaching . . . I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known that our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord . . . that the next generation might know." Thanks be to God for my ancestors and their telling.

Prayer
Loving God, thank you for ancestors who have shared their faith, family members and youth group leaders, hymn writers and pastors, ordinary saints who have planted seeds in so many different ways. Amen.

Written by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care


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