Monday, December 12, 2011

Third Monday of Advent

All your works shall give thanks to
          you, O LORD,
    and all your faithful shall bless.
They shall speak of the glory of you
    and tell of your power,
to make known to all people your
         mighty deeds,

    and the glorious splendour of your
Your kingdom is an everlasting
    and your dominion endures
          throughout all generations.
The LORD is faithful in all his words,
    and gracious in all his deeds.
The LORD upholds all who are
    and raises up all who are bowed
           Psalm 145:10-14

Psalm 145 is one of those acrostic psalms in its original form, with each verse beginning with a succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  We can't quite do justice to it in other translations, but you can imagine the work the writer faced!  But we can do justice to the challenge offered to us by this lovely song.

The way it begins and ends, it comes across as a psalm of personal praise and worship to Bod.  But there, in the middle there are these reminders about what God has done in the world, about God's compassionate and generous love towards all, about God's kingdom which is all around us, about the One who hears, lifts up, watches.  The author is so overwhelmed by this God that praise has to be lifted up every day.

What about us  -  are we able to see those glimpses of God's presence in our world?  Do we believe we are in God's kingdom?  Why not take some time, today and the next, to look for those signs of the kingdom?

Maybe we will see God reflected in the teacher who faithfully takes extra time with the kids struggling in class.

Perhaps we will know God's surprising grace in the stranger who lets us go ahead of them in the long line at the store.

God's justice might be revealed in that child who asks that her presents this year be given to a homeless child.

You could be God's heart and ears by listening to the loneliness of the neighbor across the hall.

If we just open our eyes, our hearts, our ears, our lives to what God is doing around us, we might just find ourselves standing on the corner of Hope and Wonder in God's kingdom, joining the carolers who are praising God!

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

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