depth, Gospel, Lectionary, message, paying attention, psalm 118, purpose, The Sophia Center for Spirituality
As I scrolled through today’s lectionary readings, I realized that I was skipping over the gospel acclamation (often called “the alleluia verse”) without much thought. It says: This is the day the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it. (PS 118:24) “Why,” I asked myself, “am I not paying attention?” “Most likely,” I answered, “because it is so familiar.” “And why,” I pursued the thought, “is that the case?” The answer was quick in coming as I looked back over the daily texts for the past week. On all but one day, the verse was the same, so of course it would sound familiar.
When I begin my search for a message for the day, I always begin with the Scriptures. Sometimes I do not end up there, but it is always my first stop. One of the dangers of having listened to the same Scripture passages over one’s whole life – albeit in a 3-year cycle, is that familiarity often causes distraction, i.e. skimming over a passage that one can almost quote verbatim without really paying attention for some new nuance. I often now make myself go back to re-read when I recognize that happening because, although the Scripture reading may be the same as the last time it appeared, I may be different, having learned something new in the interim.
This morning I feel like a very young child for whom God has an important message. On this fifth day of reading it, I think I finally hear God saying, Do you understand the depth of those words? Do you know that it entails a recognition that I have created every day with just what you need to live a full and meaningful life, whether or not it seems so to you? Even though it’s gloomy outside and the outlook for the coming week at work may be dismal, or your plan for tomorrow may be changing, can you not allow that whatever happens may have a purpose for your good? And when things are going well, can you celebrate the blessing in that?
Perhaps I should tape a copy that verse to the door leading from my bedroom to my every morning, just so I begin the day with the correct attitude, knowing that every day is the day God has made and every day is worthy, in some small or grand way, of joy and gladness.