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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, September 5, 2019           

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 112

Praise the Lord!
   Happy are those who fear the Lord,
   who greatly delight in his commandments.
Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
   the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
   and their righteousness endures forever.
They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
   they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
   who conduct their affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
   they will be remembered forever.
They are not afraid of evil tidings;
   their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.
Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
   in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
   their righteousness endures forever; their horn is exalted in honor.
The wicked see it and are angry;
   they gnash their teeth and melt away;
   the desire of the wicked comes to nothing. (NRSV)

“They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright.”

“They will be remembered forever.”

Those people I remember most clearly are those whose kindness, whose generosity of self, touched me in some way. It might have been a small, private act—from a teacher, a colleague, a friend. Or it might have been a public one—the graciousness or witness of a public figure, the movements people have started.

I doubt these people are always unafraid or their hearts are always steady, but mostly so, enough so, to be able to move forward.

A quote has been sticking to me these days, by the poet K.D. Hume:

“sometimes mercy is an act of kindness you give
when you didn’t know you had anything left
and that act fills you to the brim”

I suspect the steadiness and lack of fear that we see, that we remember, are exactly supported by the extent of their mercy and righteousness, those acts that fill them even as they fill us.

God of justice and hope, grant that I may be a manifestation of your mercy, as others have been to me. Amen.

Written by Anne Ellis, Program Manager for Congregational Life

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