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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, May 2, 2020  

Today’s Hymn

From the rising of the sun
to the going down of the same,
the name of the Lord shall be praised.
So praise ye the Lord.
Praise ye the Lord.
From the rising of the sun
to the going down of the same,
the name of the Lord shall be praised.

“From the Rising of the Sun” (Psalm 113)
Hymn 670, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

How do you begin your days? Perhaps before those first glimmers of sunlight you find yourself compelled toward prayers of thanksgiving. Maybe you have a routine of scrolling through news headlines on a device to see what has changed in the world since you laid down your head to sleep. It could be that none of these are possible without a fresh cup of coffee or tea in hand. However you begin your day, the truth is, once the rhythm gets going it is hard to stop, pause, and consider anything else. The sun’s course across the sky is often filled with so much busyness and anxiousness that we scarce have a chance to look up or raise our thoughts above the fog of tasks before us.

However, in that haze, voices from scripture arise that beckon us to remember the underlying presence of God that marks our days. In this sung verse from the psalms, we are encouraged to praise God from the rising of the sun to the setting of the same. Paul tells his readers in 1 Thessalonians to pray without ceasing. Through these and other voices, scripture proclaims the steadfast love and power of the Sovereign God and our exchange with the Holy One as the most important realities before us.

By contrast, it is easy to fall into the pattern of believing that the storm and stress, the peaks and valleys of our daily life are the proper frame for our days. In psychology, the peak-end theory tells us that when we recall an experience, most often we recall how we felt about the most extreme aspect (peak) as well as how we felt at the end of the experience. These are the stories we tell ourselves about our days. But scripture calls us to rightly remember that God is near in the midst of it all. What might it mean, then, to frame your days not simply by the clock or by the sun’s journey across the sky but by the faithfulness of God through thick and thin?

Dear God, your steadfast presence is greater than the movements of the moon and stars of the sky, though we are prone to forget. Whatever this day may bring, help us to remember and experience your love and faithfulness. Amen.

Written by Joseph L. Morrow, Minister for Evangelism

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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