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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Lamentations 3:22–33

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for one to bear the yoke in youth, to sit alone in silence when the Lord has imposed it, to put one’s mouth to the dust (there may yet be hope), to give one’s cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults. For the Lord will not reject forever. Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone. (NRSV)

Reflection
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. . . . God’s mercies are new every morning. . . . God is good to the soul that seeks him. . . . God will have compassion according to the abundance of her steadfast love. . . . God does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.” What incredible good news! Our Creator loves us more than we can imagine. We can depend on it, day in and day out.

This scripture also says, “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. . . . It is good . . . to sit in silence alone.” Silence and solitude are spiritual practices that, if observed on a regular basis, nurture our souls and deepen our relationship with God. When we are intentionally alone in silence we can be freed from distractions, anxieties, lists, and pressure. It may take practice over time, but we can become present not only to God but to ourselves.

Elizabeth O’Connor wrote, “Prayer allows us to be in the ‘now-moment’—which means that we are fully involved—seeing, hearing, and experiencing life as it is given. The content of the moment, therefore, gives content to our lives. We are changed by it.” She cites Meister Eckhart, a thirteenth-century Christian mystic, who wrote that “God is a simple presence, a stay-at-home in himself. With any creature, as regards her noble nature, the more she sits at home the more of herself she gives out.”

Prayer
Gracious God, bring me home to you and to myself. Nudge me to carve out time simply to be in your presence. Remind me that you care for me, forgive me, renew me, and empower me. Search my heart, and fill it. Heal me with your liberating love. Help me receive your grace, so I can start anew. Claim me and send me forth. Amen.

Written by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission


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