Readings and Reflections for Monday 14 January 2019: Epiphany

Daily Office Readings

AM Psalm 1, 2, 3; PM Psalm 4, 7   
Isa. 40:12-23; Eph. 1:1-14; Mark 1:1-13 

Ephesians:

“In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance,having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11 – 12 NRSV)

After studying this sentence that runs through two verses in English, from various English translations, we have the words “destined” or “predestined” and the word “might” in the same sentence. I believe God has blessed humanity with free will.  I also believe God has set a path for us in Christ Jesus to be those of God’s creation who gives praise back to God.  We don’t have to, but we ought to. We have been wired for praise. I love the doxology that sings, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise him all creatures here below. Praise Him above Ye heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” 

Many people avoid the Book of Revelation (to John from Jesus Christ).  However, a close examination of this book will reveal a regular round of singing praise to God from the heavenly host.  I don’t think it’s even a matter of singing ability; it’s just a matter of the heart. I don’t have any memories of my childhood as a church family but I can distinctly remember my mother singing Gospel hymns as she did our laundry. She would sing, “When I woke up this morning children, I didn’t have no doubt….”  I meet people all the time who have never heard that hymn.  But I love it.  One day I will try to find a copy of it.  I think this is who God wants us to be – God “wants” us to be, not “makes” us to be.  All we have to do is have no doubt.

So, “we who have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.” Let us practice singing praises to God regardless of what we might think of our ability to sing.  I’ve heard it said over and over again, God just wants a joyful noise. Our praising God now is practice for our eternal presence with God in glory everlasting.

 Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through God’s people.

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