Pondering for Saturday, March 25, 2023

Daily Office Readings for Saturday of the 4th Week in Lent: Year 1

Morning, Psalms 107:33 to 43 and 108:1 to 6; Evening  Psalm 33;   
Jeremiah  23:9 to 15Romans 9:1 to 18John 6:60 to 71:

“Praise the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.”  (Psalm 33: 2 and 3)

In my piano class, we are a small group of senior, or should I say, more seasoned citizens who are reaching back to develop some skills that most of us did not know we had. We are taking these piano classes through our local Community College’s Continuing Education Program. It is wonderful. I think all of us enjoy Christian hymns so it’s no surprise that when we select our recital piece it is a Christian hymn.  For me, it was “O Holy Night.” It was done poorly last year so I am asking to do it again this year.

Many of the Psalms are attributed to David. And scripture informs us that David was fund of music and dancing. While some Christian denominations do not permit the use of instrumental music, I, along with my Church family, see instrumental music as another way to use our God given skills to praise our Creator. Our gifts of art come in many forms; Book making (including the Bible and other books like our Book of Common Prayer), Icons and paintings, Rosaries and Anglican Prayer Beads, the art of preparing traditional meals, the smell of incense and the art of music. We have God given gifts that touch every God given sense that we have, sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. It is only fitting to reflect back on the Giver of these senses in praise and adoration. Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 record our Lord Jesus singing the Psalm at the conclusion of their meal. Notice of this singing by our Lord Jesus is often overlooked by readers of the Gospel. But it was his custom to do this.

I am practicing piano, guitar, and a horn. On all of these instruments that I play, it is music that honors God. I don’t think I play that well but it gives me pleasure to know that what I hear comes from my own effort developed from practice and determination. I try to live fully into all of my senses in appreciation of the love of God.

So I live to love and praise the Lord with pondering and piano. Think about your own ability to live fully into loving God back.  Remember, God loved us first. God has given us the gifts with which we can show our appreciation back to God. Therefore, let us, “Sing to [God] a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.” 

Today we recall the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel informing Mary about her invitation to be the mother our Lord Jesus. “In the first chapter of Luke we read how the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Christ, and how Mary answered, “Here I am, the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me as you have said.” It is reasonable to suppose that Our Lord was conceived immediately after this. Accordingly, since we celebrate His birth on 25 December, we celebrate the Annunciation nine months earlier, on 25 March.” (From Great Cloud of Witnesses for March 25)  Note: we have only nine months till Christmas Day! What a Holy Night!

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine and Russia.

As we listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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