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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading |Psalm 92:1–4, 12–15

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
   to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
   and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
   to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
   at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
   and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
   they flourish in the courts of our God.
In old age they still produce fruit;
   they are always green and full of sap,
showing that the Lord is upright;
  he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.  (NRSV)

Generativity is not something we usually associate with those who have passed child-bearing and family-raising years. Verses 14 and 15 of this psalm are an excellent corrective to that.

For morning and evening prayer my community at St. Scholastica Monastery uses a translation of the psalmody done by the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania; almost all of the psalms are used in a five-week cycle. So every fifth Tuesday morning, we pray this:

The just will flourish like the palm tree
and grow tall as Lebanon cedars.
Planted in your garden
they will flourish in your presence.
Still bearing fruit in old age,
still full of sap, still green,
your constancy they proclaim.

Indeed they do. Both at home (St. Scholastica) and in my work with the Center for Life and Learning, I am surrounded by people “of a certain age” who are, nonetheless, “still full of sap, still green.” What is more generative than learning something new and allowing oneself to change and grow? Than providing home and hospitality to family and friends, and maybe immigrants and refugees as well? Than celebrating the joys and helping bear the sorrows of those with whom days are shared? Than modelling a life of integrity and principle? Than writing and speaking out of rich experience and hard-earned wisdom? Than using one’s voice for the voiceless? Than sharing resources, generously, over and over and over again? Than creating spaces, through encouragement and humor and joy, where others feel free to be themselves? Than praying with and for the world, close-up and far away?

God’s constancy they proclaim.

God of all times and seasons, it is good to give thanks to you, to proclaim your love at daybreak and your faithfulness through the night. May the sap of your life and love flow through and out of us, no matter our age or circumstance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Written by Susan Quaintance, Program Coordinator, Center for Life and Learning

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