Aside

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people;
but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Matt 19: 13-14

I know this passage is meant to indicate that heaven is for the innocent. And yet anyone who has had children knows, they can be mean, sly, violent, bullying, thieving, self-centred and more. Rearing a child is in part teaching them to tame or eradicate these tendencies and accentuate the positive. Certainly, much more so than adults, children are spontaneously loving and affectionate, willing to accept people as they are, trusting them without reservation.
God, help me to nurture and develop the best of the child within me.

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Aside

“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
Isa 12: 2

The world is both beautiful and treacherous. Humans are flawed. Some mean well but fail to live up to their hopes for themselves. Others are malicious and have no higher hopes for themselves than personal gain, at whatever cost to others. We rub along and limp along together. It is only God who is strength and salvation, the promise of our future.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Aside

Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not;
for they are a rebellious house.
Ezek 12: 2-3

Nothing has changed. Isn’t this the world we live in now? The greed with which people rape the earth, force people to work for them in dire conditions, put profit first in all their transactions. They are blind to the damage they cause that means all their gains will only ever be short term. And they are deaf to the voices, effectively in the wilderness, crying out warnings about the wrong paths that they’re taking.
Oh God, open the eyes and ears of those who, through selfishness and greed, are degrading the earth for all of us now and also put future generations at grave risk. Let the prophets of our time be heard.

Aside

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is thy victory?
O death, where is thy sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 15: 54-57

Where is the sting of death?
In my heart, in missing loved friends and family whose days on earth have ended.
In my heart too, the death of relationships, especially being cut off from family.
But I await the resurrection when all will be made whole again and only love will endure.

Aside

Look on my affliction and deliver me,
for I do not forget thy law.
Plead my cause and redeem me;
give me life according to thy promise!
Ps.119: 153-154

I don’t forget Your law but I do forget to put it into practice far too often.
Forgive me, oh Lord, and give me life that I may do better, honouring you by treating others with compassion, respect and thoughtfulness.

Aside

[1] Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens,
praise him in the heights!
[2] Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his host!
[3] Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
[4] Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
[5] Let them praise the name of the LORD!
For he commanded and they were created.
[6] And he established them for ever and ever;
he fixed their bounds which cannot be passed.
[7] Praise the LORD from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
[8] fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
[9] Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
[10] Beasts and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
[11] Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
[12] Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!
[13] Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his glory is above earth and heaven.
[14] He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the LORD!
Ps.148

This seems to be the basis of one of my favourite hymns.
Unfortunately I can’t find a video or audio clip of it.

Song of Cosmic Praise

1. Creation sings a new song, to the Lord;
The universal energies rejoice;
Through all the magnitudes of space and time
Creatures proclaim the grandeur of Christ:

Refrain.
Sing a new song, sing a new song,
And wait upon the promise of the Lord.
Sing a new song, sing a new song,
And wait upon the promise of the Lord.

2. The mountains and the valleys and the plains,
The cattle and the wild beasts and the birds,
The shadows and the clouds, the rain and snow,
Praise and reflect the bounty of Christ.

3. The ocean deeps, the currents and the tides,
The diatoms, the fishes, and the whale,
The storm, the reef, the waterspout, the calm,
Praise and reflect the wonder of Christ.

4. The fruit-trees in their seasons and the vine,
The sycamore, the cedar, and the palm,
The lotus and the orchid and the rose,
Praise and reflect the beauty of Christ:

5. The human eye, the shaping hand, the mind,
With number and with symbol and design,
In work and play and artistry and prayer,
Praise and reflect the wisdom of Christ:

6. The love of man and woman clear as dawn,
The will for truth and justice broad as day,
The wisdom of the heart profound as night,
Praise and reflect the glory of Christ:

Refrain.
Sing a new song, sing a new song,
And wait upon the promise of the Lord.
Sing a new song, sing a new song,
And wait upon the promise of the Lord.

Words: James McAuley
Music: Richard Connolly

Aside

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers.”
And he lay down and slept under a broom tree; and behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.”
And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank, and lay down again.
And the angel of the LORD came again a second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, else the journey will be too great for you.”
And he arose, and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.
1 Kings 19: 4-8

God send these angels to me in my hours of need.
And let me be such an angel to others when their turn comes.