Devotion - April 27

[Today's readings: Psalms 131-135, Proverbs 27]

The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

Psalm 19:1

On Sunday, I spoke about salvation with an upper case S, and how it takes practice and attention to read the Bible to hear God’s salvation story from beginning to end – then to discern how the story we are living now is part of that greater story. So this week in devotions, we are going to practice.

On this sunny spring Monday, the first and essential part of the Salvation story is the goodness of God and the goodness of creation. God made all for good – gives common grace to everyone in beauty and life, laughter and love. Our hearts seek good news like flowers see the sun – because we were created for this good.

Today, I encourage you to praise God for every good thing (our Psalms this morning repeat the word ‘bless’ a lot – same thing). To remember that before we get to the part of the story where all are immersed in sin or loss, we begin in the part of the story where all are born into a world made for the good. To look for and bless and celebrate the good as a gift of grace.

Here are two practices that may reorient our stories in God's common grace and goodness today – well, three. First, what if you set a timer or alarm so that every hour you are reminded, when it dings or buzzes, to pause and bless God for his goodness and the good around you? Second, let’s practice seeing and naming the good back to the people around us we know. Often we notice good and forget to praise or bless those around us.

And third – remember the gift of art and music – their capacity to coax our souls into greater praise. Anthony Spain shares this wonderful piece of sacred music: “Alleluia”- by Eric Whitacre.
Anthony writes:

The inviting weather of spring is a reminder that newness is part of God’s creation.

A recent abundance of new sacred music for choirs, often created by young composers, is also a reminder that God continues to work in new ways.

How Fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean
Are thy returns! Even as the flowers in spring

—George Herbert

While there are many composers that have contributed to this new wave of sacred compositions for choir, Grammy award winning composer Eric Whitacre, has been at the vanguard of this renaissance for over 20 years. Widely popular with high school and college choirs, his compositions have been performed in over 120 countries.

As you have your devotion today, listen in quiet and take inspiration from his “Alleluia.”
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