The Daily Devotion -ASPIRATIONAL PRAYER

Sharing the Daily Devotion for 21 August from the Living Chruch Foundation and the Reverend Emily R. Hylden.  The Reverend Ms. Hylden provides an insight much needed in today’s unsettling times and that is in the main that “No one can bring salvation except Jesus Christ, no one else can heal all the brokenness and disaster that envelops the earth.” Note about the art*(see below).

 

Daily Devotional is a ministry of the Living Church Foundation.
Image licensed via Creative Commons.
View this email in your browser
Bibliothèque des Champs Libres*
Aspirational Prayer
Daily Devotional • August 21
By the Rev. Emily R. Hylden
“Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, for there is no help in them.”

This evening’s assigned psalm reminds me not to be too concerned about the result of this November’s election — or indeed, perhaps more important, the actions of any prince (or princess) of this world. No one can bring salvation except Jesus Christ, no one else can heal all the brokenness and disaster that envelops the earth. Whatever temporal sway a person may hold over pieces of our lives, economic or social, in our workplace or in our neighborhoods, “When they breathe their last, they return to earth, and in that day their thoughts perish.”

The psalm extols the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who endures through time. More than that, he brings true justice, mercy, and love to those in need of it. Though psalms can sometimes seem relentlessly cheerful, I wonder how we might read and pray psalms differently if we thought of them as statements of hope and faith — May my soul be moved to praise God all the days of my life; may I pay such attention to God’s goodness that my spirit sings with his good works. Maybe even May I let go of my hope in political machines for salvation or May I direct my energy toward work of eternal significance.

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!

2I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

3Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.

4When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.

5Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,

6who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;

7who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;

8   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.

9The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 147

Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.

2The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.

3He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.

4He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.

5Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.

6The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

7Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.

8He covers the heavens with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
makes grass grow on the hills.

9He gives to the animals their food,
and to the young ravens when they cry.

10His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;

11but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.

12Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!

13For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.

14He grants peace within your borders;
he fills you with the finest of wheat.

15He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.

16He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.

17He hurls down hail like crumbs—
who can stand before his cold?

18He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.

19He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and ordinances to Israel.

20He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his ordinances.
Praise the Lord!

 

Copyright © 2016 The Living Church, All rights reserved.

*The exquisite art accompanying this devotion is from a digitization project of works in the Bibliothèque des Champs Libre a cultural center in Rennes, France.  The featured work is a depiction of the nativity from a Book of the Hours (Daily Offices) of Béatrice de Rieux dated 1390.  This rendering uses all four of the “primary” colors used by artists during the medieval period: white symbolizing light in this world and purity; gold symbolizing the “divine”light closely relating to the idea of absolute divine wisdom; red symbolizing love in the sense of selfless love, like Christ’s love for humanity; and blue as a symbol of heaven,contemplation, things which are divine, life lived in accordance to the highest standards. For further reading see Art History, Symbolism and Legends

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s