Daily Devotions

You Aren't the Center

main image

"May the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion." (Ps. 134:3)

 

We live in a world where children and youth are taught that they are center of their own universe. Everyone gets a trophy, no one older gets respect because everyone should be the center of attention all the time. We always accept people as they are, because everyone's actions are appropriate no matter who else gets hurt. It becomes impossible to kneel before any entity, if we have never had the understanding of being anything but the center of our own universe.

 

Psalm 134 is the final psalm in the series of Ascents. The people are at the end of their pilgrimage in Jerusalem. With verse three, they hear the benediction, and begin their perilous journey home. In this last psalm, on the last day, the key theological word, is "bless." The verb "bless" occurs in three of the four lines of the psalm. The Hebrew root for "bless" is literally "to kneel," as in paying homage to a superior. According to The New Interpreter's Bible commentary, kneeling "indicates loyalty to and dependence upon God." One cannot offer God loyalty and our dependence if we are the center and the sun, moon, stars, and even God revolves around us.

 

Today, actually kneel on the floor (if physically able), and offer God your devotion and loyalty. Then, come up with some action of humility later in the day. Perhaps it is putting some money in a Red Kettle, or going out of your way to thank someone who works in an otherwise thankless job. Then, before you go to bed, pray again. This time, ask God to give you a proper perspective on your life, leaving you neither haughty nor humiliated. Then, thank God for the faith to bless God's holy name, and the humility to make God the center. Then, go to sleep with a renewed sense of peace and joy.

A Pilgrim's Road

main image

A Pilgrim's Road

 

"How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!" (Psalm 133:1)

 

The psalm is part of a collection used by pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem. The journey was neither safe, nor comfortable. There were bandits throughout the journey, and pilgrims were an easy target. The pilgrims did not benefit from Holiday Inns, highway Rest Areas, or McDonald's. Quickly, along the route, pilgrims would join together for protection and support. They would sing and worship along the route, share food, and watch over one another. By the time they reached the Temple in Jerusalem, they would often be as close as family.

 

As people of faith, God has called we pilgrims to walk this journey together in Church. We walk the same route, sharing spiritual food, watching over one another in love and support. When we reach the resurrection, it will by the grace of God and the blessing of our church family. Church families are not to be taken lightly. Nor are they there simply for our benefit. The true benefit of the church family is to journey together, day by day, year by year and for all eternity.

 

In your prayers today, take your church directory, or simply think of people in your church. Picture each in your mind and say a prayer for each one. Some you will know well enough to make the prayer specific based on their needs. Others will receive more generic prayers. We are all interconnected as a church family. Some tithe so your children have a faithful Christian Education. Others represent you when they serve the shelter meal. All make the our church family more vital. Celebrate each one, and do your best to nurture each pilgrim on the journey with you.  

12...258259260261262263264265266267 ... 327328