Scripture: Psalm 65
Key verses: (7-13)
You silence the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples.
8 Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
9 You visit the earth and water it,
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide the people with grain,
for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
Reflection: Scripture is infused with thanksgiving to God, in awe of our Creator. A prerequisite for giving thanks is seeing the gifts that are before us. Mindfulness is a tool for opening our eyes today. Through mindful, non-judgmental awareness of the present moment, our eyes are opened to see the beauty and goodness in each moment of life. Stop for a moment today and be mindful. Notice everything around you and where you are right now. Stop and notice God. When we see God in creation, our hearts naturally respond with gratitude and joy. What do you notice?
Summer is a great time to engage in the spiritual practice of gratitude. Awareness of God’s world lead us to gratitude. Today, and throughout the week, make a list of five things for which you are grateful. Try your best not to repeat. Researchers say that a more grateful heart is a healthy heart. Literally and physically, your heart is healthier when you practice gratitude. This spiritual practice has been linked to emotional well-being, lower levels of anxiety and depression and reduced risk of alcoholism. Grateful people live longer! Giving thanks and the practice of gratitude also bring us to the place where we find our truest and best selves. We are more attentive to pleasure, we experience less envy and we are more content. What is on your gratitude list?
Prayer: God, help me to stop. Take a breath. Observe my surroundings and proceed in that awareness. In each moment, may I take notice of all that I am. Help me to be kind and loving in all I do. In the name of Christ. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].