Scripture: Psalm 119:1-24, 27
Key verse: (27) “Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works”
Reflection: Many years ago, my mother became the talk of the block when, on December 26th, at about 7 a.m., her Christmas tree was stripped of lights and ornaments and taken to the curb for pick-up. We have teased her over the years about her firmly held conviction that “there is nothing more over than Christmas,” but now that I am an adult and a mother, I get it. Christmas is a lot of work, a lot of excess, a lot of feasting, a lot of stuff. It can be stressful to be among those who “make Christmas happen” for everyone else. To boot, routines and healthy habits are off their courses in December, and there are only so many times you can listen to the bear orchestra in Founders’ Hall before being driven to insanity (although that Ella Fitz-Bear-ald is pretty talented!).
My mom is no Grinch, and neither am I, but there is something to be said for the return of normalcy. Psalm 119 is a celebration of God’s law, and the study of it. The psalm is an extended meditation on the benefits of delving into God’s word, of carving out time to listen for God’s direction and to build a life on its rhythms. The psalmist seems to think there is something anchoring about the routine: returning again and again to the practice of meditation, prayer, and praise.
There is no need to wait for January 1 to return to living this way. If your soul craves a little less flash, and a little more steadiness these days, you are invited to cultivate your own anchoring routines. When was the last time you were in the daily habit of reading scripture? Why not begin again now, in the quietness that follows the holiday frenzy? Perhaps you could pick a memory verse for the upcoming year – one to pray as you exercise or commute or pack lunch boxes. Perhaps there is a bible study, or even an app, that can help you engage the rich resources that God gives us in scripture, so that you might be sustained in this new season.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the change of pace that this day signals. Give me a deeper desire to learn from (and about) you in the days and weeks to come, and help me commit to care for my spirit as I care for other aspects of my life. Amen.
Author: Anna Dickson
[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].