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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, December 6, 2019  

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 24

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
   the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
   and established it on the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
   And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
   who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
   and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord,
   and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him,
   who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, O gates!
   and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
   that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory?
   The Lord, strong and mighty,
   the Lord, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
   and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
   that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
   The Lord of hosts,
   he is the King of glory. (NRSV)

On the Monday morning commute into work, there are unwritten rules. File in, fill all the empty seats, push as far back as possible, put in your headphones, get lost checking social media on your phone or checking work emails. Avoid eye contact, don’t strike up a conversation with anyone.

Yesterday, however, a woman sat down next to me, singing a happy song to herself. My first reaction was annoyance; I started to turn up the podcast I was listening to and retreat further into my commuting bubble. Then from the corner of my eye I saw a little girl who was enjoying the woman’s song. Then I looked up and noticed my coworker was sitting only a few seats away from me.

It reminded me of Psalm 24: “Lift up your heads, O gates.” How often do we get buried in the busyness of our lives and forget to look up?

I go to church each Sunday to worship God, but almost as soon as I exit through the church doors (and sometimes before) I start worrying about my grocery list and the mundane things of life I need to get me through the week. David reminds us, though, that the earth and everything in it belongs to God. David challenges us to break down the barriers we create between us and God and to appreciate the beauty in the world around us—to step out of our bubble and enjoy the stranger’s song; to appreciate the blessing of being able to go to a grocery store and find whatever food I need for the week. God is great.

Thank you, God, for all you have provided. Help me when I build up false barriers between myself and you. Give me the wisdom to see the glory in the world around me. Amen.

Written by Katie Patterson, Youth Ministry Program Manager

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