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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
beside the Syrian sea
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.

John Greenleaf Whittier’s “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

Reflection
 The wonderful benefit of focusing on hymns as the source of our daily devotions is that they give us some new and fresh phrases with which to think about our lives and our faith. I don’t think I’ve ever asked God to “reclothe me in my rightful mind,” but I hope I remember the phrase and begin using it. I need to be reclothed in my rightful mind when worry takes over. I need to be reclothed in my rightful mind when judgment or jealousy takes hold. When I am aware, I can feel when my mind or my heart needs to be reclothed. Everything feels askew. I am disoriented or all tangled up inside or negative about everything or just plain discouraged. It’s not so easy to get out of these tangled up emotions or to sort them out. Sometimes a simple prayer can help, like the prayer of this hymn: “Forgive our foolish ways, reclothe us in our rightful mind, in purer lives thy service find, in deeper reverence praise.”  The prayer is a plea to God but it also might help us to focus on praise—at the very least. Sometimes the prayer isn’t enough, and it might be necessary to reach out to someone else who can be a sounding board—a friend, a pastor, a Stephen Minister, a trusted colleague. In those conversations and confessions, there is also hope for a reclothing.

Prayer
Dear Lord and Creator of us all, clothe us in new garments of grace and forgiveness. Help us let go of the tattered clothing of negative thoughts and anxiety, jealousy or judgment. Reclothe us in our rightful minds, we pray. Amen.

Written by Judy Watt, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care


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