Today is Wednesday, October 18, 2017. Day 21,769.
Thirteen days until C’s knee replacement surgery.
Chuck Berry, who was born on this date in 1926 (died 2017), said, “Elvis’s songs will always be there, and I hope mine will be after I’m gone.” They are, Chuck. They are.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
(From The Divine Hours)
Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.
. . . hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay!
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.
For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:1-8, 12
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
(From Practice Resurrection)
We are reminded again, that work “is what God does, not what we do.” Peterson points us to Genesis 1-2 to give us a reminder of how we are first introduced to God. “The first thing we learn about God is that God works.” In the midst of his work, he “invites us into his work.”
Then he says something that I was not aware of. “The Christian community has a long tradition of reading, meditating, and praying Genesis 1-2 in order to form our understanding and experience of work in the company of God at work.” The next page, I believe, is worthy of quoting in its entirety.
“God makes light. What a gift. God’s work. God’s gift. We can see what is going on, we can see where we are going. ‘Light dawns for the righteous’ (Ps. 97:11). Every lamp, every candle, every torch, every chandelier is a witness to what is continuously revealed around us.
“God makes sky. Sheer gift. God’s work. God’s gift. This huge Above. Space and spaciousness, this immense Beyond. Far, far more than we can take in. Far, far more than we can control. Everything visible stretching into invisibility.
“God makes earth and sea, plants and trees. Sheer gift. God’s work. God’s gift. Oak forests and wheat fields, apple trees and rose gardens. A place to stand. A place to be at home. A home furnished with what we need. A home beautiful.
“God makes sun and moon and stars, marking seasons and days and years. Sheer gift. God’s work. God’s gift. Time to look around and see the sights, sunrise and sunset. Time to listen to the wind in the willows and the rain on the roof. Time to sleep and dream and ‘awake the dawn’ (Ps. 108:2). Time to remember and count blessings. Time to hope and pray.
“God makes fish and birds. Sea and sky resplendent with life. Sheer gift. God’s work. God’s gift. Rainbow trout and belted kingfishers. The dazzle and elegance of every kind of life.
“God makes animals domestic and wild. Sheer gift. God’s work. God’s gift. Cattle and caribou, ants and lizards, grizzly bears and honeybees. Life on the move. Life profuse in form and color. Life dancing.
“God makes man and woman. Sheer gift. God’s work. God’s gift. Wherever you look, wherever you go, man and woman. Man and woman on every street and road, each one unique. But on this sixth day of work, there is something different. Each man and woman is not only an instance of God’s workmanship but is capable of participating in God’s work, working in God’s workplace and continuing God’s work, continuing the gift-making.
“And then it is done, complete, ‘finished.’ The seventh day, a day for God to look back across the workweek, take stock of ‘all the work that he had done.’ ‘The work that he had done’ is repeated three times (Gen. 2:2-3). A day of rest. A day for quiet reflection on all the good work. A day of hallowing and blessing the good work.
“Seven times in this week of work, God paused, looked over his work and pronounced it good. The final ‘good’ was intensified to ‘very good.’ Good work, indeed.”
Father, as I read these beautifully written words, may I pause to consider what they represent. And as, later today, I remember to take a look back at Genesis 1 and 2, let me be grateful for the work that you have done. I am also grateful that you have not stopped working. And, finally, I am grateful that you have invited me to participate in this work. As I work today, doing my job, may it be done for you, in the name of Jesus, in the presence of your Kingdom Among Us.
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Grace and peace, friends.