Old Testament: Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
Morning Psalms: Psalms 95, 31
New Testament: Philippians 4:1-9
Gospel: John 17:9-19
Evening Psalms: Psalms 35
I’m not a person who enjoys spending a lot of time outside. It’s hot in the summer (and sticky in Virginia), my allergies kick into high gear, and there are bugs and snakes and other critters that I prefer not be in my space. But my Dad loved spending a lot of time outdoors with us. Whenever he was home and wherever we lived, Dad took us on outings. We would fish, hunt, or just camp in the mountains, hunt for rocks in the desert, look for shells on the beach. So, even though I didn’t inherit the love-of-the-outdoors gene, I had many opportunities to learn to appreciate and to grow to love the beauty and the majesty of nature.
I remember starting our fishing trips before the sun had risen and how the mountains loomed up in front of us, vast, velvety, and dark. We’d drive up and up, but still there were higher snow-covered mountain tops in the distance. Then, down a dirt road, we would pull up into the middle of a wide meadow filled with tall swaying grasses and delicate colorful flowers. The lake was like a mirror, with its dark glassy surface only broken by the jump of a fish... and then by our boat. It was so quiet that I think we would have whispered even if we hadn’t been trying our best to not scare the fish.
These images come to mind when I read Psalm 95:
“For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” (verses 3-5, NIV)
What a great gift He has given us!
“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” (Verse 2)