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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, June 28, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | 1 Kings 19:15–16, 19–21               

Then the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place.

So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was plowing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him. He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” Then Elijah said to him, “Go back again; for what have I done to you?” He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant. (NRSV)

We are all on a journey, and every day, every encounter is part of that journey. However, the journey that really matters is the journey to become fully aware of each moment, being totally present and completely open to seeing God in each other. To do this, one does not need to become a monk or meditate deeply for hours—although neither could hurt. We need simply to be more attuned to what is around us, actually becoming a part of our surroundings, achieving oneness with each experience and with each other. We need to clear away whatever clutter is preventing us from being aware. But we all know that clutter will appear in some form, and when that happens, just observe it and let go of it. Then we are free to experience the journey within each moment.

There are many stories of journey throughout the Bible; it seems that God likes finding us on a journey. Elijah was on a journey, but his was not going well and he was ready to give up, but in the moment of his greatest challenge God provided what he needed. That openness, that seeking, is what the journey is all about—to be open to God and all people, to all encounters. With that clear conscience we have nothing to fear, not even death. The only thing to really fear is being separated from God and not being aware of each magnificent moment.

Loving God, open me to you and to all creation. Help me to seek you in the smallest elements, help me to search for you in the vast open skies, and help me to find you in the eyes of all I encounter. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

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