O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
David pours out his longing to find God, recognizing that his desires are met in God. Post-holidays, we may be experiencing a dry and weary land and ache to find God. Today, as we worship the King in the humble stable, may we look for God and see his power and glory.
What are you longing for?
Where are you finding God in your longing?
How are you looking for God in worship?
Gracious God, we come today with our longings, knowing and believing that you are the One who meets us and sustains us. In the midst of our dryness and weariness, help us to look for you today and behold your power and glory and worship you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
God is close to us and his love is sure. As we live in the reality of God’s steadfast love, we can’t help but respond in praise and blessing. In this liminal time between Christmas and the new year, we can call on God, who is always there in love.
How do you experience God’s love in your life?
How do you respond to God’s steadfast love?
Where do you need to be assured of God’s love today?
Gracious God, in a time when we are experiencing change and uncertainty on many levels, help us to remember that your love is steadfast. May we praise you and bless you in all we do and call on you with confidence and gratitude. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
This psalm is filled with images of one who is dependent on and aware of God’s presence and love in all aspects of life and responds with gratitude and engagement with him throughout the day and night. In a time that can feel dry and anxious, we can find fulness and peace in God’s faithful presence.
When are the times during the day that you are most likely to be aware of God’s presence?
How is God filling up the dry and anxious places of your life?
How can you practice a greater awareness of God throughout your day and how might that impact your contentment and peace during this time?
Gracious God, you are the one who satisfies us. You are the one that is present with us when we are apart from those we love and when we are awake in the middle of the night. Thank you for the invitation to live in your presence and help us to grow in our awareness of you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
...for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”
The notes for this psalm say that David wrote this while in the wilderness of Judah. In these two verses, the psalmist expresses how God has helped him in a place of wild loneliness. David has looked to God for help, protection, assurance and strength. And God has been faithful and sure.
How has the this last year felt like a wilderness to you?
What have you learned about yourself?
How has God been present with you and are there ways that you have grown in awareness of that presence?
Gracious God, as we experience the wilderness of our lives at times, we trust in the words of the psalmist that you are our help, protection, assurance and strength. Expand our awareness of you in all we do, that we might reflect you to those around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
Simeon was an old man, who had been watching for the Messiah for many years, straining to catch sight of God’s consolation for all people. His devotion and focus had prepared him to recognize God-in-the-flesh when his parents brought Jesus to the temple. In the midst of the temple rituals, God revealed Himself to the one who had the eyes to see.
What have you been looking for this past year?
Where have you seen God revealing Himself to you?
How are you experiencing hope because of Christ’s presence in your life?
Gracious God, as we end this year we confess the times when our focus, concerns, and worries have distracted us from the reality of your presence in and around us. In this new year, help us to train ourselves to be aware of your loving presence that is always with us and to find delight and comfort knowing that you are near, drawing us to yourself in every circumstance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.