He Is Mindful of His Covenant

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.24
He is mindful of his covenant forever, of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations.
—Psalm 105:8


Give Thanks to the Lord

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.23
O give thanks to the Lord, call on his Name, make known his deeds among the peoples. 
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful works. 
Glory in his holy Name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.
—Psalm 105:1-4


I Rejoice in the Lord

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.22

May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. 
❦ Psalm 104:33


Send Forth Your Spirit

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.21
These all look to you to give them their food in due season; when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. 
When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 
When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground. 
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works. 
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. 
—Psalm 104:27-31, 33


How Manifold

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 
Psalm 104:24


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They Sing among the Branches

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.19

By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches. From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.
—Psalm 104:12-15


You Make Springs Gush Forth

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.18
You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, giving drink to every wild animal.
—Psalm 104:10-11a


A Costly Choice

Choose this day whom you will serve. 
—Josh. 24:15b

IA. Cheesecake & Halibut?

I think most of us are familiar with at least part of this morning’s reading from the Hebrew scriptures. It is, after all, an all-time favorite preaching text of Protestant pastors. Israel has been through a long ordeal. They were delivered from slavery, they spent years wandering in the wilderness, and they completed the conquest of the country God had promised them. And after it was all over, their leader, Joshua, gathered them together at Shechem—near the modern Palestinian city of Nablus—and offered them a choice: Choose between the God who brought you here, and the old gods—the ones you used to worship, the ones all the people around you have chosen.

It’s a good passage of scripture to take at face value. It’s just as valid a choice today as it was 3300 years ago. Choose this day whom you will serve: the God who made you what you are and who brought you this far, or the things you used to serve. Or, Choose this day whom you will serve: the God of your ancestors, or the things and values that hold everybody around you in thrall.

There must be a million different sermons a pastor can preach on this one little verse. Indeed, I’ve probably preached a hundred of them. And though the narrative as a whole is easy to include in sermons, there’s one section that not only makes it difficult if we include it, it literally flies in the face of Christian theology:

Fire & Flame

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.17
You make the winds your messengers, fire and flame your ministers.
—Psalm 104:4


Wrapped in Light

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.16
Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty, wrapped in light as with a garment. 
—Psalm 104:1-2a


Bless the Lord

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.15

Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul.
—Psalm 103:22


From Everlasting to Everlasting

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.14

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. 
—Psalm 103:17-18


As a Father Has Compassion

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.13

As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
—Psalm 103:13


As Far as the East Is from the West

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.12
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us. 
—Psalm 103:8-12


Justice for All Who Are Oppressed

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.11

The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
—Psalm 103:6


Forget Not All His Benefits

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.2.10
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.
⚓︎ Psalm 103:2-4


Seeds of Faith

An All Saints Invitation to the Table

Not too long ago, airplane passengers flying into a small airport located in Northern Ireland began to notice something beneath them in the forest. There was an outline of something in the trees. It wasn’t always so striking, because the colors didn’t always stand out. But this year, when October rolled around, there was no denying it. In a woodland otherwise made up almost entirely of spruce trees, a different kind of tree—thousands of them!—had been planted. But the planting wasn’t done haphazardly. It was done very intentionally in the shape of an almost perfectly formed Celtic cross. The scale of the cross—over 300 feet long and over 70 feet wide—is so enormous that it cannot be perceived from the ground. Only from the air is it now visible. And because it’s autumn, the difference between the dark green spruce and the golden larch is breathtaking.

But you know what’s really weird? Nobody knew it was even there until just recently.