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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Sunday, August 23, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Psalm 105:1–6, 23–26, 45b

O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful works.
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of his servant Abraham, children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
Then Israel came to Egypt; Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.
And the Lord made his people very fruitful, and made them stronger than their foes,
whose hearts he then turned to hate his people, to deal craftily with his servants.
He sent his servant Moses, and Aaron whom he had chosen.
that they might keep his statutes and observe his laws. Praise the Lord! (NRSV)

Reflection
Listen closely and you can almost discern the trumpets accompanying this clarion call that invites us into Psalm 105. I’m buoyed by the directness, energy, and clarity of these commands—essentially, to celebrate always, and in as many ways as we can imagine, the love the Lord showers upon us daily. Sounds simple enough, right? But as I read these words, I’m aware of the countless times in which I fail in these simple yet powerful directives to give God abundant thanks and praise for the glorious gifts God places in my path every day of my life. In giving thanks to God, I also ask that others will be blessed with similar blessings and the means to a better life. (Obvious prayers in August 2020 are for an end to systemic racism and equal access to better health care for all of God’s people)

We are implored to share the good news of the Lord and to turn to God continually for love, support, guidance, courage, patience, and more. Discussing our problems and our joys with the Lord is a gift from God that we also give to ourselves: God always listens for our call. Thanking the Lord strengthens our relationship with God, weaving stronger bonds and making us more comfortable, informed “conversational partners.”

Astounding . . . this gift is ours for the taking.

Prayer
Thank you for reminding us, the people of God, that it is our honor and privilege to share your glory with others at every opportunity. As the poet Mary Oliver enlightens us in her poem “Praying”:

…just pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this [is]
the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Amen.

Written by Betsy Storm, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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