Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Psalm 23 (NRSV)
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
my whole life long.
I work with the children of our church on Wednesday nights. When they arrive, they have been in school for a large part of the day and most likely after school day care as well. Needless to say, they are not always ready to sit for another 30-45 minutes and listen to someone else talk. It’s hard for them to focus when their minds and bodies are bursting with pent up energy.
To deal with their energy and the things that can result from it, we have employed the bucket system. Every person has an imaginary bucket that he or she wants to keep full. Your bucket is full when people are kind to you and treat you well—listening and paying attention. Your bucket is emptied when people are not nice—being rude or not listening. This system has worked pretty well for us, and the children are cautious about being kind to one another and to the adults.
I’m reminded that in Psalm 23 God fills our cup so much that it runs over. It runs over with forgiveness and love. When we mess up and aren’t kind to others or we do things that cause God to grieve, God continues to fill our cup. God never allows our cup to empty. How comforting to know that God loves us so much that we will never have to experience the absence of God, who keeps our cups full of God’s grace and love!
Gracious God, how lovely to have our cups filled with your love! We don’t deserve it and we certainly can’t earn it, but we are so grateful that you love us that much. By your grace we say, Amen.
Go with God.