I was blessed with a mother, a special aunt and amazing grandmother. This verse from proverbs sums up their lives.
The True Wealth
13 Happy are those who find wisdom,
and those who get understanding,
14 for her income is better than silver,
and her revenue better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called happy.
For changing people’s manners and altering their customs there is nothing better than music. Shu Ching, 6th Century B.C.
Music moves me more than anything. I can be completely lost in a hymn and have tears rolling down my cheeks. I feel the melody pulling me into communion with god. God is present with me. I can feel his spirit moving in my soul. Tonight I offer another hymn that has been around but when sung brings the holy spirit into my soul.
In my years working for the Lutheran Church I was so uplifted by the music. Someone who knows how much music means to me reminded me of this hymn. It is giving me focus and hope. I hope it can do the same for you. There are some versions I prefer but this one has the words.
If through delight in the beauty of these things people assumed them to be gods, let them know how much better than these is their Lord, for the author of beauty created them.
Our society loves beauty. It has set a standard of what is beautiful. You must have wonderful features and a great body. This applies to men and women.
All the ads that we see tout ways for us to reach this standard. However, no one talks about the more important beauty….the beauty inside. It is the person who loves without reason. Acceptance is their middle name. They feel compassion for all and don’t judge.
This is the beauty that lasts. This is the beauty that God wants us to find.
Tonight I was thinking about Psalm 46 and its wonderful message. The words of this Psalm has always been special to me. Years ago I was a choir director in a church. I had a wonderful choir and there were few pieces that they couldn’t do. I ran across this piece by Pote and just loved it. You can find many versions of it on YouTube but I chose this one as it has the words. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Tomorrow is the last Sunday of Advent. I almost hate to see it go. I love the feeling of the season. I grew up where there was often snow and the silence it creates.
Matthew 6:34 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
I don’t know how many times my grandmother quoted this verse to me. Of course it was the King James version but the meaning is the same. I don’t know why it is in my nature to worry but I know that I am not alone. This is one of the things I am trying to change in myself. When I fall into a worried state I sing or listen to the Taize hymn. Here are the words. I have posted the Spanish sung version because it is so beautiful. Listen and sing along using the English words. (unless of course you speak Spanish)
Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall
never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
God alone fills us.
A prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book of the Anglican Church. This is another of the prayers that I find so dear to my heart. The wording always makes me think in a different way. See if you like it.
Be present, Spirit of God,
within us, your dwelling place and home,
that this house may be one where
all darkness is penetrated by your light,
all troubles calmed by your peace,
all evil redeemed by your love,
all pain transformed in your suffering,
and all dying glorified in your risen life. Amen.
Think about us being the dwelling place of God and his home. I plan to use this prayer every day.
When I was a choir director I was lucky to have a choir who could do this version of Psalm 46. I love the psalm and this version just lifts me up. I hope you can take the words to heart.
Find joy in the simple things. That’s all love needs to thrive on. From the TV series Call the Midwife
Our society has brainwashed us to think that happiness comes from things. The things we can buy. The truth is that happiness comes from inside us. It is almost as if it is hidden away to make us uncover its secret. Most joy comes from things we can’t buy. Love, the smell of a flower, the stars on a beautiful night, the sound of the ocean. These are the things that fill our soul and turn us toward true joy.
Prayer: Help us to see the things that are real.