This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Today I worship the God of creation,
of salvation, of time and eternity.
The God of all nations, of all conditions, of all people everywhere.
Praise the Lord. All that is within me, praise God’s holy name.
Praise the Lord and remember all his kindness:
in forgiving our sins;
in curing our diseases;
in saving us from destruction;
in surrounding us in love.
The Lord is full of mercy and compassion,
The Lord is slow to anger and willing to give us gifts of love.
Praise the Lord!
Oh, praise the Lord,
all that is within me.
This poem, with much of it taken from the Psalms, was our responsive reading from last Sunday in Worship at DLABC. It really spoke to me as a way to say howdy to God in the morning. While I was thinking of good places to put it so I would see it first thing each day, it put me in mind of the scripture from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV).
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
It seems to me that this means we should surround ourselves with Scripture. In our homes, on our person, as we talk, and in our hearts. So if we wanted to greet God each day, we might tape the poem (or the Deuteronomy passage) to our morning pillbox. To our smart phone, an item that people increasingly look at before getting out of bed in the morning. On the door that you use to leave your home for work. On the remote control for your TV.
My friend and colleague Pastor Pam Wantz from Linden Avenue Baptist gave me this idea a few years ago when she gifted me with a Scripture calendar. She told me that she loves to surround herself with God’s Word, and that she hoped the calendar would be a part of that process in my home. And it was. It made me think about things this way….if the Bible is the central book of faith and how to live life, why wouldn’t I put verses that touch me personally around my home, office, car, etc.
My challenge to you as we begin the summer is to look around you, identify half a dozen or so key places, and post Scripture there. It’s OK if it takes you awhile to get it all done. Start with the poem or Scripture on this page. Go from there. Be on the lookout for good Bible quotes that speak clearly to you. And in the process of ‘Scripturfying” the places you spend lots of time, observe how you feel. See if it doesn’t help you, as it does me, stay closer to God and have more favorite Scriptures.
Faithfully, your pastor, Rev. Dr. Karen E. Johnson