Great Plains Daily Devotional for 10/10/2018

Today please be in prayer for

Administrative Assistant
Hays District
Administrative Assistant
Hutchinson District
Administrative Assistant
Kansas City District
Administrative Assistant
Missouri River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 112 

Praise the Lord!
    Happy are those who fear the Lord,
    who greatly delight in his commandments.
Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
    and their righteousness endures forever.
They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
    they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
    they will be remembered forever.
They are not afraid of evil tidings;
    their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.
Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever;
    their horn is exalted in honor.
The wicked see it and are angry;
    they gnash their teeth and melt away;
    the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

Today's Devotional

I remember learning about acrostic poems in third grade with a special assignment around Mother’s Day. Our class named the attributes of our mothers with words that started with M, O, T, H, E & R and shared them in an art project for our moms. It taught us about poetry, namely that it didn’t have to rhyme, which tested my elementary sensibilities. (Is it a poem when the words don’t rhyme? Guess we’ll just show ‘em, each and every time!*) The learning experience challenged us to come up with new words for our moms rather than the typical words that a third grader might have come up with (ie, nice, loving, good cook, and other such descriptions).

Third-grade-me would have been surprised to know that acrostic poetry has been around a long time—even as far back as the time of the writing of the biblical hymnbook, the Psalms (and beyond). Acrostics help us memorize, look at something differently, and underscore a message. While the message of my third-grade poem pointed toward my mom, the message of Psalm 112 points to God’s completeness, from A to Z (or rather, from Aleph to Taw in Hebrew).

Psalm 112 is a benediction, of sorts. Benedictions are offering “good words” to the hearers. In our contemporary worship setting, they’re given as worship is ending as words that speak life, instruct, provide blessing, and frame being sent out from the gathering. That’s what Psalm 112 is doing. It is a benediction describing the blessed life of the faithful, those who “fear the Lord.” It’s a robust declaration, from Aleph to Taw. It inspires by casting vision about the blessing one’s faithfulness will have on one’s descendants and even describes the “steady heart” of the righteous. So “receive” the benediction of Psalm 112 as word of blessing, of challenge, of life.

*Apologies for the bad poetry!
 
God, we do praise you and give thanks for your completeness. Open our hearts to receive the fullness of a faithful life, that we might see your enduring righteousness in the entirety of our lives. We pray this Christ’s name, Amen.

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