THE CALL | Mark 4:30–32 [ESV]
“With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
PRAYER | Valley of Vision Journeying On
Lord of the cloud and fire,
I am a stranger, with a stranger’s indifference; My hands hold a pilgrim’s staff, My march is Zionward, My eyes are toward the coming of the Lord, My heart is in thy hands without reserve.
Thou hast created it, redeemed it, renewed it, captured it, conquered it.
Keep from it every opposing foe, crush in it every rebel lust, mortify every treacherous passion, annihilate every earthborn desire.
All faculties of my being vibrate to thy touch; I love thee with soul, mind, body, strength, might, spirit, affection, will, desire, intellect, understanding.
Thou art the very perfection of all perfections; All intellect is derived from thee; My scanty rivulets flow from thy unfathomable fountain.
Compared with thee the sun is darkness, all beauty deformity, all wisdom folly, the best goodness faulty.
Thou art worthy of an adoration greater than my dull heart can yield; Invigorate my love that it may rise worthily to thee, tightly entwine itself round thee, be allured by thee.
Then shall my walk be endless praise.
MEDITATION | Jeremiah 29:4–7 [ESV]
“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
SING: Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father
And to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be world without end
Read Psalm 57
2nd Reading: Psalm 59
Happy Valentines Day! For forgetful husbands like me, remember to offer the appropriate expression of appreciation to you wife. For those not married, use this day to express your appreciation for important people in your life – the Christian vision of love is much bigger than just romantic love. For those who face Valentine's day with sadness, bitterness, or disappointment. Don’t worry, our psalms for today have nothing to do with romantic love. In fact, they are about as far from that as possible.
In order to group similar psalms on each day, we are reading Psalms 57 & 59 today. They both are psalms written by David that express his anguish at being in a tough situation. The superscription to Psalm 57 says that it applies to David’s experience of hiding from King Saul in a cave. Psalm 59 says that he is hiding from Saul’s hired hitman who are “prowling like dogs” outside his house at night. Many psalms are written from the perspective of looking back on God’s deliverance from a tough situation. But these two psalms are a prayer that is situated inside of a really tough situation. See the following:
How do you pray when you are in the midst of a really dangerous situation – when you have enemies that want to hurt you?
The Sacred Harp singing tradition is a form of Christian worship that uses a particular kind of music theory. It emerged as the New World blended poor immigrant and slave cultures together. Originally created to teach illiterate people to read music in New England, it quickly spread across the country and took deep roots in the South. Musically, it breaks a lot of "rules" in traditional Western theory, but it follows the "rule" of the ear. Instead of typical music notation, Sacred Hard uses shape-notes that are easily recognizable and reflect the melodic intuitions of folk music. Over time, worshipers would gather in a square and sing toward one another with the goal to sing as loudly as possible. As one worshiper explained in this documentary, "If you can hear your neighbor singing, you're not singing loud enough!" Sacred Harp is a rich tradition of worship and has greatly influenced modern hymnody with writers like Isaac Watts and Joseph Hart. Our first setting of Psalm 126 uses the tune of Wayfaring Stranger, which captures the sojourning spirit of not just Psalm 126, but all the Psalms of Ascents as well. Here is a performance of the traditional setting of Wayfaring Stranger. At a traditional singing event, singers use a version of solfege to frame the song before singing the lyrics.
LECTIO DIVINA | Psalm 126
We memorize things we value. The brain has an incredible ability to remove information that we don’t need. As we make an effort to memorize the Psalms, the beginning of each week seeks to establish the value of God's Word in our hearts before we view it as information to be remembered. Read more about the Lectio Divina HERE.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever,
Matthew 9:37–38 [ESV]
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
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City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.