Today’s Date Monday, February 1, 2021
The Week leading up to the Presentation of the Lord on February 2, 2021
Today’s WORD (Text) Psalm 84
1/ How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! 2/ My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3/ Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. 4/ Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. 5/ Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
10/ For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness. 11/ For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly. 12/ O Lord of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.
Ours is a period of tremendous social, political and economic disorientation and dislocation for countless people across our nation and around the world. The coronavirus pandemic combined with devastating economic fallout for many, the environmental effects of climate change, culture wars and political unrest—among other factors—leave many people from all walks of life and identities feeling socially and culturally homeless, and indeed some are physically homeless. Others feel displaced due to their inability to gather with family, friends, or their faith community. Millions of students are displaced from their schools. Workers are displaced from their jobs or are working from home. Many renters and homeowners fear it is only a matter of time before they will face eviction due to make rent or mortgage payments. Countless immigrant children forcefully separated from their parents live each day in fear that governmental authorities who willfully displaced or misplaced them will not take action to reunite them with their loved ones. And the list drags on of the different categories of real people who long for a secure abode, a sanctuary, a reliable dwelling place where they can regain their footing amidst this precarious socio-political world. Juxtaposed to these realities the psalmist’ vision of the courts of the Lord, and of a lovely dwelling place where there is happiness and singing seems like a dream. Nevertheless, as God’s faithful children, we hold tightly to these timeless words of spiritual devotion. Indeed, we long for our spiritual home in God’s presence where God is both sun and shield. Contrary to the idea that this is a morbid vision that speaks solely to an eternal life after death, I prefer to see this as a vision of life in the presence of God. What a vision! Might we experience it sooner than later!
In what ways can the promise of dwelling in God’s presence provide comfort and peace to your life today?
Dear God, we thank you for being our refuge, our dwelling place, our home in the midst of a very troubled world. We pray for all those who live with fear, trepidation and trembling due to tremendous uncertainty in their circumstances. Grant safety, provisions, and peace to all those who call upon you in distress. Give blessed assurance to those who sincerely fear what today and tomorrow will bring. May we find blessed quietness, security and comfort in you, our dwelling place in all generations. Amen.
The Passionary Intention
Today, I choose to live my life with passion. Today, I intend to follow Christ more nearly, love more dearly and incarnate God’s grace more clearly by asking myself three questions:
- Where will I follow Christ today?
- To whom shall I demonstrate Jesus’ love and justice today?
- How can I play my part in practicing the presence of Christ, right here, right now?
The Passionary Movement Word and Witness devotion is published weekdays (Monday – Friday). Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies is the author of today’s devotion.
Photo by Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash