Make Glad the City of God

By Peggy Michael of Cantonment, Florida, USA

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea…There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.  Psalm 46:1–2, 4

Why do we marvel so at our own handiwork and boast of our small accomplishments? Why should we bask in glory, when we take a portion of the eternal elements—metal, stone, sand—and shape it into empires that alter the skyline? We are pleased as they gleam and glitter in the sunlight.

But in the dark night of our souls we climb into our beds and weep at what we have failed to build within our empty hearts. We don’t understand why God loves us. We question if we are worthy. The Creator gave us beauty in our soul, and we crush it; a pure temple, and we defile it.

We are only fractions of the people we could be.

God, you sent your only begotten Son into the world to redeem us. Yet, at times, we turn from his kneeling form as he prays for us. My forgiving Lord, if you still want me, I am yours!

Prayer for Peace:

Forgiving God, we raise our voices in praise and thanksgiving for your blessing. You give us talent, skill, artistry, and imagination. But then we are humbled to see the sacredness of your creation.

Our music, no matter how rhythmic, cannot compare to the waves of your seas. Our buildings and sculptures are but imitations of your majestic stone mountains. Our visual arts cannot capture your clouds and rainbows. We cannot put into poetry the love that you are. But we try, because you have put it in us to try for the sake of your glory. May we use these blessings to further your peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Connecting with God as Center

Each day this week connect with God through journal writing. Use a notebook, journal, computer, or any available paper. Prayerfully center on your intent to open yourself to God’s presence and share what flows from your heart and mind.

Your “letter to God” might include thoughts, questions, feelings, needs, artwork, quotes, and scriptures, or it might take the form of a prayer, psalm, or poem. Try to write at least five minutes each day.

What do you experience? Is this an effective way to connect with God? What surprises you? What new images or questions from God emerge? What deepens or changes in your relationship with God, Christ, Spirit?

Peace Covenant:

Today I will use the imagination and creativity that you gave me, God, to co-create with you for peace.

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