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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, February 15, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 119:1–8

Happy are those whose way is blameless,
   who walk in the law of the Lord.
Happy are those who keep his decrees,
   who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
   but walk in his ways.
You have commanded your precepts
   to be kept diligently.
O that my ways may be steadfast
   in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
   having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
   when I learn your righteous ordinances.
I will observe your statutes;
   do not utterly forsake me. (NRSV)

Years ago I attended a concert by Dave Brubeck at Symphony Center and had the good fortune of talking with him after the concert. I congratulated him on a great performance, and he looked at me sadly and said, “Do you really think so?” I was amazed at his humbleness and even doubt after a concert enjoyed by so many in one of the great concert halls of the world. Even the great pianist Dave Brubeck knew he wasn’t perfect, and he had the integrity and humility to acknowledge it.

The psalmist wrote, “Happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord,” but I struggle with these words, because no one is blameless, no one is perfect. I know I’m far from perfect. Yet attempting to be perfect can hold us back from even trying sometimes, so instead of trying to be perfect, we should just do what we can. Each of us in our own way can bring joy, healing, truth, and even beauty into a world so desperately in need. In doing so we are all capable of walking in the law of the Lord at times, in small ways. We don’t need to be a jazz legend like Dave Brubeck playing a concert, but through just one word, one thoughtful act, each of us can make difference. These small acts can accumulate and eventually overcome any evil. If ten thousand people were to take a chance and do something that would make a difference, what a powerful change it could make in this world.

So much has changed because someone had a vision for a better world; one act, one word at a time, worked together to achieve that world. So what can you do today?

God of eternal change and truth, help me to walk in your law and to make a change, to be a change for someone, for something today. Amen.

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

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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