Daily Office Readings for Friday of Week 8: Year 1
Morning, Psalms 140 and 142; Evening, Psalms 141, 143:1 to 12);
1st Samuel 13:19 to14:15; Acts 9:1 to 9; Luke 23:26 to 31:
“Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord, and guard the door of my lips; let not my heart incline to any evil thing.” (Psalm 141:3)
If only I could think before I hit the “send” button on my mouth. My blogs are like this also. I really ponder over my words and even have them read aloud by a computer voice before I hit the “publish” button. And even then occasionally the wrong meaning is floated out there.
As we interact with people, both, the people we like, and the people we don’t particularly like, we should be very careful about our choice of words. While it is sometimes difficult when done face to face, during our Covid lock-downs and the more widespread use of text messaging and emails, and without the use of facial expression and body language, the wrong message is sometimes sent.
In setting a watch before our mouths and a guard on the door of our lips we must go deeper inside our selves, and to our hearts. It is in our hearts that our attitudes and feelings are first developed before they make their way to our mouths and lips. Words and hands can help or hurt depending on the heart source from which they originate. And how do we adjust the thoughts of our hearts? We don’t, without God’s help.
God did not give us the ability to fix our selves or heal ourselves. God intends for us to first believe in God, and as a result of our belief, to ask God for the assistance needed. Therefore, we pray, “Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” (BCP 355)
I have heard it said that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Therefore, before we speak, perhaps in prayer we should squeak. We need our words to be true to what we feel. But what we feel needs to be something we are proud of before God and our neighbors. It is only with God’s help that I; “Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord, and guard the door of my lips; let not my heart incline to any evil thing.”
For this evening, and tomorrow day my friends; Shabbat Shalom.
Let us live in order that we might love, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John