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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, January 5, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 138

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
   before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
   and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
   for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.
On the day I called, you answered me,
   you increased my strength of soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
   for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
   for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
   but the haughty he perceives from far away.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
   you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
   and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
   your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
   Do not forsake the work of your hands. (NRSV)

Reflection
Recently I was asked to write some talking points about gratitude for a CEO planning to tape a holiday video to his employees. He recognized that expressing appreciation for the daily efforts of his employees toward their company is the powerful kind of gratitude that matters. I offered some suggestions, but I should have simply urged him to read Psalm 138 as a starter.

While the familiar Bible passage is King David’s magnificent praise to God for his “unfailing love” and “faithfulness” in good and difficult times, it also affirms that we all should be genuinely grateful to the Lord for so many reasons and that we should proclaim that gratitude aloud. Psalm 138 reiterates that God’s love for us is steadfast. It is a powerful reminder of God’s enduring love for each of us. It also should remind us of the power that voicing our gratitude has on those who assist us each day.

Prayer
Lord, as David expressed so eloquently, we also are so grateful for your countless blessings. While it may prove uncomfortable at times to express our appreciation openly, we will strive to voice our thankfulness to you, because we recognize that when we do, others will surely grasp your love and trust in you as well. Amen.

Written by Tim Schellhardt, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church


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