Scripture: Psalm 134
Key verse: (1) “Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the Lord!”
Reflection: The last church I served boasted gorgeous stained-glass windows, all of which were given new life after a 2012 renovation of the sanctuary. Against newly brightened sanctuary walls and ceilings, their colors shone all the brighter. The round window at the back — full of deep greens and yellows — was practically ablaze every Sunday morning as our services would end, and if you remembered to stop and look up at it as you filed out, Jesus’ words about being “the light of the world” just made a little more sense. But my favorite time of day to be in that old historic sanctuary was at night, when the windows at the front completely changed into a new piece of art altogether. Without the external light, the colors dimmed, but the metalwork that held them together popped out, showing a whole different facet of the scenes they displayed. The stories were more complex than they appeared when displayed in full light.
Life is like that. Like those windows, the stories of our lives are full of color and detail, some of which shows best when the lights are turned up high, and some of which goes unnoticed until things grow darker, quieter. When the crowds are gone, when we’re suddenly in a different routine and have time to sit and examine the intricacies of our hearts, we just might notice things that have always been there that make you who you are.
Because most of us are morning worshippers, I imagine that Psalm 134, with its call to raise hands in praise to the LORD at night, invites us to carve out space for worship that looks and feels different from the way we normally do it. Perhaps if we heed the call to get out of our normal routine a bit, we might notice the subtler hopes, fears, wounds, memories, and prayers that wind themselves through the story of our lives like scaffolding. They are the things that show up “in the night”, when we take the time to stop, take a deep breath, and look. They are an integral part of the art that is who God created us to be.
Prayer: You know me inside and out, O God, and all that I am is visible to you. Give me time to appreciate the things about myself that are not always the things I put on full display, and help me to trust in your creative love for 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].