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“You, Lord, are the light that keeps me safe.
I am not afraid of anyone.
    You protect me, and I have no fears...........

Trust the Lord!
Be brave and strong and trust the Lord!”

(Psalm 27  CEV)

If I ever had to pick a Psalm and label it as “my favorite”, without hesitation or debate it would be Psalm 27.  Like many people my age and older we had to learn the 23rd Psalm in Sunday School and recite it for various occasions.  Families have requested Psalm 23 at any number of funeral and/or memorial services.  It has been printed in a variety of forms of artistic expressions but Psalm 23 would not be the choice as my favorite!!! There is something about Psalm 27 that speaks to me in a way that none of the other 149 do.

Maybe it is the thought of the presence of God in my life as light, salvation, protection and beauty.  In looking at the world from my place in it, I see more than enough of the negative and dark side of this world.  I want to see and experience God’s presence and power in ways that show a different side and perspective.  Not in a Pollyannish kind of way where everything about God is rosy, but a way that says to all of the darkness, the negativity, the divisiveness and so forth --- there is another way.

Our world is so embroiled in negativity that it is sometimes hard to even imagine that there is something else available.  But this Psalm (for me) speaks to the hope that God shows us in the midst of all that is going on.  Whether it is the war impending between Russia and Ukraine or the streets of our major cities, there is still the hope that God’s peace will prevail.  Even in the midst of abuse of human beings, power and elitism, this Psalm is a reminder of God’s forgiving and inclusive love.  Trust the Lord who is our God!!!

Prayer:  Creator God, we look to you for hope in the midst of all that surrounds us.  We lift our cares to you, especially the unrest in Russia and the Ukraine, and seek ways to be your loving examples in our specific place and time.  Help us to be the change we want to see in the world!  Amen.

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“The steadfast love of God never ceases,
    God’s mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“God is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in God.”

(Lamentations 3:22-24)

You may recognize these words from one of the great hymns of the church “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”.  The words of the hymn as well as the words in Lamentations serve as reminders to us of the consistency of God’s love and provision for us on a daily basis.  It does not have any stipulations or specifications around when and/or how this happens.  We are just given what we need for the day each morning. 

During the season of Lent we seek to strengthen our connections with God in so many ways and we are reminded over and over again how God hears us and responds.  Morning by morning we are loved!  Morning by morning we are forgiven!  Morning by morning we are reconciled and brought back into relationship with God!  The harder work comes in the work with one another.

This is where we find it most difficult to come close to the mark of perfection.  We hold on to old miseries and grudges instead of letting go and following the example of Jesus.  But new every morning are the assurances that we have been given for our relationship with God that we should pass on to others….grace, forgiveness, patience, love…. All shown to us on our journey of faith …. new every morning!!!!  Let us find ways to be in right-relationship with one another during this season of Lent.

Prayer:  Great is your faithfulness O God, to us!  You show us your love, grace and provision each day.  Strengthen us that we might grow and be able to do the same for each person we meet on our journey this season.  Amen.

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