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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | 1 Kings 19:4–8

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. (NRSV)

Reflection
We are all on a journey, and every day, every encounter is part of that journey. The only journey that really matters is the journey to become fully aware of each moment, being totally present and completely open to seeing God in each other. To do this, one does not need to become a monk or meditate deeply for hours—although neither could hurt. We need to simply be more attuned to what is around us, becoming a part of our surroundings, achieving oneness with each experience and with each other. We need to clear away whatever clutter is preventing us from being aware. But we all know that clutter will appear in some form; when that happens, just observe it and let it go. Then we are free to experience the journey within each moment.

There are many stories of journey throughout the Bible; it seems that God likes finding us on a journey. Elijah was on a journey, but his was not going well. He was ready to give up, but in the moment of his greatest challenge God provided what Elijah needed. That openness—that seeking—is what the journey is all about. To be open to God and all people, to all encounters. With a clear conscience we have nothing to fear—not even death, because it is just one more thing to be experienced. The only thing to really fear is being separated from God and not being aware of each magnificent moment.

Prayer
Loving God, open me to you and to all creation. Help me to seek you in the smallest elements; help me to search for you in the vast open skies; help me to find you in the eyes of all I encounter. Amen.

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

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