In the Office: Monday Morning in the School of Acclamation

I’m glad to say – that on the whole – Mondays and mornings (and even Monday mornings) don’t hold much dread for me. I tend to be a positive person, who greets the day with thoughts of “Good morning, Lord!” rather than “Good Lord…morning!” But I do have those occasional days when I’m a little too tired…when there’s a little too much to be done…and when the sense of “eager anticipation” with which I’d like to greet the day seems a little too inaccessible (and guess what…this is one of those days).

Nevertheless, God is good. And He graciously offers some words that provide at least a partial attitude adjustment. In today’s readings from the Daily Office, these words come in Psalm 89:

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
love and faithfulness go before you.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. (vv.14-15)

What much-needed reminders do these words offer? First, that my focus needs to be on “who God is” rather than on “how I feel.” Sure, there will be days when not even that extra cup (or those extra cups) of coffee will get me sufficiently motivated. But God’s righteousness and justice remain; and His love and faithfulness will meet me if I’m prepared to look for them.

And that leads to a second reminder: It takes some practice to look for God’s love and faithfulness. “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,” the psalmist says. And there is within me a self that is far more eager to focus on our miseries than on God’s greatness. But with a little discipline (and a healthy supply of grace) I can become more adept at focusing my attention where it needs to be – and discovering God’s provision in the midst of my need.

And finally, the psalmist reminds me: “Blessed are those…who walk (emphasis mine) in the light of your presence, Lord.” It can be awfully easy to feel immobilized by the concerns that cloud my thinking. But perhaps that’s the exact moment that I need to move forward anyway. I need to “walk in the light of God’s presence,” trusting – as I heard in a wonderful sermon yesterday – that I don’t need to worry today about being “good enough” to earn God’s acceptance; but instead, I need to remember – that in Christ – God has already accepted me – and that He will be good in me for the sake of His glory.

I hope that your Monday morning is off to an encouraging start. But even if it’s not, I pray that we can “learn to acclaim” the One who loves us and gave Himself for us.

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