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Monday, December 14, 2015

Today’s Reading | Psalm 24  

The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it,
   the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
   and established it on the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
   And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
   who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
   and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord,
   and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him,
   who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, O gates!
   and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
   that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory?
   The Lord, strong and mighty,
   the Lord, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
   and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
   that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
   The Lord of hosts,
   he is the King of glory. (NRSV)

The Twenty-Fourth Psalm, although written many hundreds of years ago, still resonates in today’s broken world. We are not really our own, neither are our bodies or souls. God the creator always claims each of us, in spite of our flaws and with all of our sins and selfishness, to seek God’s grace and eternal love. This entire world, and each of us, always belongs to God.

Even though God cares deeply about the moral condition of humankind, it appears that much of society’s energy and focus is on finding happiness through books, classes, lectures, workshops, and blogs. While happiness is clearly important, I am curious what miracles might emerge if we each became seekers of the heart and face of God, instead of solely happiness formulas. Our religious practice is for naught if we do not move our heart’s work for God’s broken world. As the psalmist exhorts us to intentionally seek fellowship with God with a pure and loving heart, and clean hands not distracted with idols, might we unintentionally find happiness, joy, and salvation? Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors!

Lord, King of glory, thank you for stooping down to receive each of us, simply by us opening our hearts to you. Give us the courage to break open our hearts, spreading pure love and energizing our hands to help heal your beautiful broken world. Amen.

Written by Cris Ohr, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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