Pondering for Monday, August 2, 2021

Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 13: Year 1

Morning, Psalm 80; Evening, Psalm 77;
2nd  Samuel 7:1 to 17Acts 18:1 to 11Mark 8:11 to 21

“I commune with my heart in the night; I ponder and search my mind. (Psalm 77: 6)

As most all of my readers know, my ponderings are a reflection derived from the Daily Office readings of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. My ponderings are theological and meant to share for the theological enhancement of all who may read what I share.

Rarely do I attempt to connect a theme with all the readings for a given day.  But today is an exception.  For some reason I think I see something of the nature of God. I’m just pondering.

I am moved by the number of repeats in our different readings for today.  Let me give you some examples. In our first Psalm recommended for the morning, Psalm 80, we read, “Restore us, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved:” (Psalm 80: 3 times this is said).  We do need the light of God’s countenance.  And it is only with it that we will be saved. 

In Psalm 77 recommended for the evening I catch the repeated “pondering” that goes on. We read, “I think of God, I am restless, I ponder, and my spirit faints. (Psalm 77:3).  And again, “I commune with my heart in the night; I ponder and search my mind. (Psalm 77: 6).  And once more, “I will meditate on all your acts and ponder your mighty deeds:” (Psalm 77:12).

Our God seems to be and outdoorsy kind of God.  God is with us in tents in 2nd Samuel and with tent makers in the Acts of the Apostles

In our 2nd Samuel reading, God doesn’t seem to want a house but then says later that God does want one, but it will be built by an ancestor of David.  This is thought to be Solomon.  But what if, I ponder, the house is not one built with hands, but a house of faith, eternal in the heavens.  Eternal in the heavens, now that’s very outdoorsy. 

Paul is outdoors during most of his preaching and teaching. It is revealed that he never loses his vocation of tent making. I like that.  I have always felt the those of us who teach and preach for God should also carry their own weight in community occupations like everybody else.  Ironic that while Paul’s preaching and teaching is mostly outdoors, his vocation is one of covering people with tents. It’s okay, he’s got us covered in more ways than one.

God in Christ Jesus is with us in boats in our Gospel for today.  But if we care to notice, much of our Lord Jesus’ activity is in, or around, boats. Jesus reveals the outdoorsy nature of God.

I ponder that maybe being outside might often bring us closer to God as we are saved by the light of God’s countenance, in a tent or in a boat; but mostly, in our minds.

Let us live to 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

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