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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Today’s Reading | Psalm 67   

May God be gracious to us and bless us
   and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known upon earth,
   your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
   let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
   for you judge the peoples with equity
   and guide the nations upon earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
   let all the peoples praise you.

The earth has yielded its increase;
   God, our God, has blessed us.
May God continue to bless us;
   let all the ends of the earth revere him. (NRSV)

When was the last time that you allowed yourself to be filled with awe or wonder? Or when was the last time that you opened up your heart in praise? It’s a difficult thing for us as adults to be captured by that feeling—indeed, we often refer to deep joy as “‘childlike”‘ joy, as if it were something that adults do not experience. Yet in Psalm 67, a psalm that was likely used in the context of worship, the author twice writes “let all the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you” as if to emphasize the need for us to open ourselves up. The blessings of God are not just something to be contemplated; they are also for us to experience and feel deep within our hearts. These moments of true praise can be somewhat ephemeral and difficult to obtain, but they are vital to sustain us amidst all of the difficulties and challenges in life.

So what opens your heart up in praise, and loudly proclaims the glory of God? For some, it is being outside in the majestic grandeur of nature. For others, it is the beauty of a piece of art or music. Some of my greatest moments of awe come from witnessing the joy of baptisms at our church—as an entire community voices their desire to surround a tiny infant with love and care and to help that child know that God loves them and knows them by name. Regardless of what it is that opens your heart up, I believe that God uses those moments as places of transformation—and that we are called to experience them as much as we can.

Dear God, please open my heart today. Help me to experience all of the wonder, beauty, and joy that surrounds me—allowing each of those things to transform me. Amen.

Written by Matt Helms, Associate Pastor for Children and Family Ministry

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