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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, November 24, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 138

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
   before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
   and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
   for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.
On the day I called, you answered me,
   you increased my strength of soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
   for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
   for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
   but the haughty he perceives from far away.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
   you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
   and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
   your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands. (NRSV)

Reflection
Being thankful is a way of living that requires actions rooted in gratitude.

Before dinner my family and I hold hands and say something for which we are thankful.  It ranges from the most mundane to the most extravagant, but every day there is something that causes us to be grateful. We all have so many things to be thankful for and taking a moment daily to think about them is a healthy way of living. But that is only a first step, only the beginning of the journey. How do we respond to this gratitude and live in thankfulness? Treating strangers and neighbors with love and respect, helping the poor and needy, giving away some of our time, talent and treasure, bringing beauty and healing into a broken world; these are some of the ways we can live into a life of gratitude and thankfulness. As we do so, it becomes a never-ending circle, and a circle always expanding.

Prayer
(From “King of Glory, King of Peace” by George Herbert)

“King of glory, King of peace, I will love thee;
and, that love may never cease, I will move thee.
Thou hast granted my request, thou hast heard me;
thou didst note my working breast, thou hast spared me. 

Wherefore with my utmost art, I will sing thee;
and the cream of all my heart, I will bring thee.
Though my sins against me cried, thou didst clear me;
and alone, when they replied, thou didst hear me.

Seven whole days, not one in seven, I will praise thee;
in my heart, though not in heaven, I can raise thee. 
Small it is in this poor sort to enroll thee;
e’en eternity’s too short to extol thee.”

Amen.

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


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