Christian, devotion, Evening, Presbyterian Church (USA), Psalms, Uncategorized, United Church of Christ (UCC)

Glimpses of Grace Daily Devotion for June 11, 2017

Devotional Reading from the Common Daily Lectionary: (an evening reading) Psalm 139

Text: Where can I go from Your Spirit or where can a flee from Your Presence? (v. 7)

The 139th Psalm is my favorite Psalm, bar none. I like it so much because it marvels at God’s Providential Care of us. There is nowhere that we can hide from the Presence of God. God’s knowledge of us begins even before we are born; For it was You who formed my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. … My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In Your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.  

The Psalmist does not claim that God causes or lets things happen. Bad things do happen because we live in a broken world, a world filled with selfishness and greed. Disappointment is a frequent visitor in our lives. Yet, while God neither causes nor lets bad things happen, God is right there with us when they do happen.

A grieving parent once asked me “Where is God when I’m hurting?” I thought about that question for a long time before I was ready to answer. My response may have been woefully inadequate but I said that God is “right there, on the Cross of Jesus.” We cannot keep our children from pain, but we can suffer with them, and comfort them and love them even in the midst of great pain. That’s what God does, too.

Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels well with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen. (from The Book of Common Prayer, compline service)

Christian, devotion, Evening, Presbyterian Church (USA), Psalms, Uncategorized

Glimpses of Grace Daily Devotion for May 31, 2017

For Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Psalm 9

Text: I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;  I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.  I will be glad and exult in you;  I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. (vss. 1 & 2)

Psalm 9 is a reading for this evening, when the day is done. At the end of each day I lie in bed and reflect upon the events of the day. Then I think more deeply upon the two or three things that brought me real joy and “give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart.

We sleep better when we end the day with a heart filled with thanksgiving. We sleep more soundly when we close our eyes enveloped by the Psalmist prayer, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (Ps. 4: 8)

Sleep tight.

As I close my weary eyes, Lord, give me a thankful heart and the confidence that in Your presence I will sleep in safety. Amen.

"Red" Barber, Christian, devotion, Evening, Prayer, Presbyterian Church (USA), Psalms, Uncategorized

Glimpses of Grace Evening Devotion for April 24, 2017

Devotional Reading: John 17: 1-11

Text: Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.  (v. 11b)

While I could talk about how our divisions hurt God (that may be the subject of a sermon), I decided to turn toward Jesus’ prayer for His disciples then and now.  As this day draws to a close it does us good to reflect upon how God “protected” us throughout the day. We may have had a very hard day, with all kinds of bad news and challenges that we did not know how to meet. Or, the day may have been one of relaxation and ease. Probably it was somewhere in between. But no matter what kind of day it was, here we are. The day is done. It is time for us to regroup and consider how we will tackle tomorrow. No matter what the future holds we will tackle it confident of the grace of God and a Holy protection.

I read many years ago that the great baseball announcer, “Red” Barber would end each day with this prayer from the Psalms. I will close this devotion with those words of prayer.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Psalm 4:9). Amen.