God Is Great

Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 12:6
God is great,
God is good,
and we thank him for this food.

This little table grace is one of the first prayers many children learn. And it's also profoundly true. 

We're told we should have the faith of a little child, so maybe this is a place to start: acknowledging the presence of God in the simplest of activities. In waking up, eating a meal, making it to work and back, spending time with family and friends, getting a good night's sleep. We may not realize it, but it's not just in the miraculous or grandiose that God is great. The greatness of God is also found in everyday life. I think this is one of the reasons God sent us Jesus.

We see the greatness of God in Jesus' miracles and in his resurrection. But more than anything else, Jesus was known in simple words and acts of love—the kind of actions that anyone could take. Even in the most amazing events of his life, Jesus was a study in humility and the commonplace. Take his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, for example. He was hailed as a king, but he rode in on a lowly beast of burden.

Yet it's not enough to recognize God in the commonplace. As followers of Christ must also seek God in the least among us—the children, the downtrodden, the oppressed. Recognize the greatness of God in the little things, yes. But also find God in God's little people, those whom others might overlook.

Blessed is the king who comes in the Name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!
 Luke 19:37-38
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
O God, just as the disciples heard Christ’s words of promise and began to eat the bread and drink the wine in the suffering of a long remembrance and in the joy of a hope, grant that we may hear your word, spoken in each thing of everyday affairs: 
  • Coffee, on our table in the morning; 
  • the simple gesture of opening a door to go out, free; 
  • the shouts of children in the parks; 
  • a familiar song, sung by an unfamiliar voice; 
  • a friendly tree that has not yet been cut down. 
May simple things speak to us of your mercy and tell us that life can be good. And may these sacramental gifts make us remember those who do not receive them: 
  • who have their lives cut every day, 
  • in the bread absent from the table; 
  • in the door of the hospital, the prison, the welfare home that does not open; 
  • in sad children, feet without shoes, eyes without hope; 
  • in war hymns that glorify death; 
  • in deserts where once there was life. 
Christ was also sacrificed; and may we learn that we participate in the saving sacrifice of Christ when we participate in the suffering of his little ones. 
 Rubem Alves
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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