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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 16

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
   I have no good apart from you.”

As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
   in whom is all my delight.

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
   their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
   or take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
   you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
   I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
   in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
   because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
   my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol,
   or let your faithful one see the Pit.

You show me the path of life.
   In your presence there is fullness of joy;
    in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (NRSV)

Reflection
We tend to overcomplicate things. It’s fairly easy to do with the help of your trusty smartphone that holds eighty-four unnecessary apps, cars that can park themselves, a media platform that can recommend your next favorite TV show or movie based on the last film you just watched. And still, when we have all these fancy things at our fingertips, along with a rehabbed condo, a 401(k), and a couple of college degrees to boot, we find ourselves wanting more—or not being satisfied with all that we’ve acquired.

Yes, we’ve definitely advanced as a society in terms of what we can build and create and how we can increase the average life expectancy, but that doesn’t mean we gain any more fulfillment or happiness from inventing more or living longer. We ultimately still find a reason to be bored or unhappy with our circumstances.

David’s psalm reminds us what it means to be a true disciple: to worship, follow, and honor only God and not the “inheritances” one might find on earth. David speaks of those who create other “gods” and how those people will only discover sorrow and will “suffer more and more.”

David’s words remind us that all we truly need to live a fruitful life is to keep God at the center of it all. God is our true protector, our guide, our provider, and our joy. It’s natural for humans to seek out answers and solutions to fill the voids we find here on earth. Instead of trying to fill that void with material desires that will decay and disappear when we pass from this world, we must constantly remember to fill our hearts and actions with God’s love. This love is infinite and boundless and transcends any earthly desire we think we deserve.

Prayer
God of endless love and joy, fill my heart with the desire to do your will and love your people. Remind me to find peace in simply longing for your eternal presence. Amen.

Written by Jackie Lorens Harris, Director, Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center


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