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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, January 21, 2019

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 36:5–10

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
   your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
   your judgments are like the great deep;
   you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
   All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
   and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
   in your light we see light.

O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
   and your salvation to the upright of heart! (NRSV)

Reflection
Every Saturday while I was growing up, my family would drive about an hour to visit my grandparents in Jackson Center, Ohio. There were many reasons I enjoyed visiting them: recounting all the things that happened during the week, eating lots of good food, playing a piece I learned on their piano—and seeing what candy Grandpa had put in the linen closet. On a bottom shelf of the linen closet, along with towels and sheets there was always a supply of not just bite-sized candy bars, but the full-sized ones. The pile of Snickers, Mounds, peanut butter cups, etc. were, for me and my sister, just an unbelievable act of love and generosity. They were just there for the taking, no one had to know how much we took or when, no one even knew if we took them. We could—of our own free will—eat a candy bar anytime we wanted.

My grandparents are gone now, their candy may be gone too, but not the love that came with it. The free love that I experienced each Saturday at their home in Jackson Center goes with me every day, everywhere I go now. It is the gift of love that is passed from one generation to another and from one person to another that truly matters and makes a lasting difference in our lives. This love can be passed on in many encounters and many actions, but sharing this love for each other matters. It really matters.

We share this love with everyone, not just family, because we are all the children of God, each person created in God’s image. We share this love because God shared it with us first, giving us so many free gifts, seen and unseen, all that is and all that ever will be.

“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.”

Prayer
Loving God, thank you for the gift of love that you so freely share with each and every person. Help me to share that same love this day and always. Amen.

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

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