Dear friends in Christ,
This morning, I gave thanks that this is the first day of a new month. I didn’t used to pay much attention to the changeover from one month to the next, but that changed a few years ago.
Almost every morning, I pray morning prayer. Several years ago, I started using the 30 day psalter. This is a plan to read all the psalms over the course of a month. You can see it spelled out in your Book of Common Prayer if you turn to page 585. Right there above Psalm 1, it says “First Day: Morning Prayer.” So we read the first five psalms this morning. Then this evening, we’ll read starting at Psalm 6, where it says, “First Day: Evening Prayer.” Tonight’s portion is three psalms. By the end of the month, we’ll have prayed all 150 psalms.
So every month, my morning starts off
Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked, *
nor lingered in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seats of the scornful!
Their delight is in the law of the Lord, *
they meditate on his law day and night.
Day in and day out, I am reminded that a life patterned on God’s commandments is how we are meant to live. The psalms are infused with a sense of praise and gratitude for God’s commandments. They are understood not as things which constrict us, but as ways to live the abundant life that God desires for all people.
Sometimes people mistakenly believe that following Jesus means we do not have to follow commandments. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus himself gave commandments, and they are all rooted in the law. His own Great Commandment, to love God and love our neighbors, is of course a quotation of Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Jesus gave this Great Commandment as the lens through which to do all that he commanded and all the law that he himself followed.
Perhaps you’ll join me this very day in reading the psalms this month. You can do this with a prayer book, where the whole psalter is found starting at page 585. Or you can find the psalms online. You can also use the Forward Movement prayer website to pray the daily office. If you go to the preferences page, you can switch to the 30 day psalter and say morning and evening prayer. Our app (for Apple or Android) also has a setting to allow you to use the 30 day psalter.
Try it out. I hope you find the same blessing I have enjoyed in delighting in God’s law.
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This series was made in partnership with Trinity Institute in 2016 based on their 2016 conference, Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice. Courses are built on lectures by some of our leading teachers on the subject of race in America.
- Spirituality and Racial Justice with Michael Curry
- Whiteness and Racial Justice with Kelly Brown Douglas
- Theology and Racial Justice with J. Kameron Carter
- Racism and Racial Justice with Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
- Reparations and Racial Justice with Jennifer Harvey
This series is for those looking to deepen their understanding and conversations on racial injustice.
Listen to today’s Forward Day by Day reflection on the Forward Day by Day podcast. Find morning prayer on the Morning at the Office podcast and end your day with the Evening at Prayer podcast. Available anywhere you listen!
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