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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 147:1–11           

Praise the Lord! How good it is to sing praises to our God;
   for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
   he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted,
   and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
   he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
   his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
   he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
   make melody to our God on the lyre.
He covers the heavens with clouds,
   prepares rain for the earth,
   makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the animals their food,
   and to the young ravens when they cry.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
   nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
   in those who hope in his steadfast love. (NRSV)

Sometimes it’s as if we can discern the mood or state of mind the psalmist was in when writing their psalm. This psalm seems to convey its writer’s adoration, enthusiasm, and passion for God’s nature and actions.

It’s an impressive resume. God rebuilds what has been destroyed; reconnects relationships that have been broken and lost; heals broken hearts; treats wounds; knows and even names everything created, down to the last distant star; has unlimited strength and knowledge; lifts up those who have fallen; dismisses and neutralizes destructive forces; is the source of all the earth’s bounty we enjoy and are sustained by; is not impressed with bluster and bravado shows of power; is attentive to those who praise and revere God; and lends us strength. It is humbling to note that often many of these qualities of God can be experienced by others through their interactions with us.

As God’s child these qualities are present for my protection, growth, and well-being. When I slow down, fold silence and reflection into my process, and ponder these qualities of God I start to sense my own adoration and enthusiasm build. This is an amazing God I want to call my own, to whom I belong and whose love I want to represent to others.

Dear God, with the psalmist of old we agree it is fitting and pleasant to praise and thank you for all that you are to us—especially for calling us your children! Amen.

Written by Thomas Schemper, Director,
Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being

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