Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Telling God's Glory

Today's reflection on the Daily Texts:

The heavens are telling the glory of God. - Psalm 19:1

Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." - Mark 1:10-11

Two-year reading texts: Psalm 79:1-8; Isaiah 9:8-10:11; Galatians 5:7-18

I haven't gone back and checked, but I think today marks the end of the longest gap in my posts here. Sheryl and I got back three days ago from our trip for Elise and Matt's wedding, followed by our summer vacation break. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, there was a lot of activity and detail work and stress, but the wedding day itself was wonderful, and the vacation following was relaxing and refreshing. Before and after this roller coaster ride in our family life, there was also the crunch of trying to get things done in advance at work and at home, then the inevitable catching up when we returned.

So today is the first day in a long time that feels "normal." I'm able to notice the everyday blessings of life a little better. And while there are still bills to be paid and things to be done, I'm feeling grateful for love, family, friends, and the freedom and ability to enjoy a sunny summer day.

Today's scriptures remind me that there is always tension in life. Psalm 79 reflects the voices of people burdened and troubled by the consequences of their actions and those of their ancestors - yet there is a note of hope in the love and mercy of God. Today's piece from Isaiah is written for a time of conflict and war and reckoning; it too speaks of both danger and redemption. The Galatians section highlights our choices of which forces to pay attention to, and how to align ourselves. All the scriptures point to God as the source of all good things, and God as the one who provides a path forward through the midst of our challenges.

In the same way, Psalm 19 proclaims that God's glory is told by all of creation. From the highest heavens to the smallest things in and on the earth, God gives life and guides us forward. The story of Jesus' baptism, which sets the tone for all Christian baptisms and shapes our own claims to be adopted as beloved children of God, makes God's glory personal for us.

Today, I hope that in some way, my life can join all of creation in telling about this glory of God. Soaking up the sun, giving thanks for God's love made known through the Son, I can see that I am (and all of us are) a part of God's glorious story. May this thankfulness take root and grow, and spread beyond me to be told into the life of someone else. May the power of God's glory be stored up in me and become part of a living memory and testament to the love and mercy and grace of God. May you and I, and all God's people, point others toward God's glory.

From the last line of Psalm 19: "Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to you, O LORD, our rock and our redeemer."

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