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Let Your Life Speak

A Lent Reflection for Sunday, March 3 by Rev. Emily Wickstrom


Lectionary reading for 03/03/2024: Exodus 20:1-17 • Psalm 19 • 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 • John 2:13-22

Selected passage for reflection: Psalm 19


Read

Psalm 19 NLT


For the choir director: A psalm of David.

1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The skies display his craftsmanship.

2 Day after day they continue to speak;

night after night they make him known.

3 They speak without a sound or word;

their voice is never heard.[a]

4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,

and their words to all the world.

God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.

5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.

It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.

6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens

and follows its course to the other end.

Nothing can hide from its heat.

7 The instructions of the Lord are perfect,

reviving the soul.

The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,

making wise the simple.

8 The commandments of the Lord are right,

bringing joy to the heart.

The commands of the Lord are clear,

giving insight for living.

9 Reverence for the Lord is pure,

lasting forever.

The laws of the Lord are true;

each one is fair.

10 They are more desirable than gold,

even the finest gold.

They are sweeter than honey,

even honey dripping from the comb.

11 They are a warning to your servant,

a great reward for those who obey them.

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?

Cleanse me from these hidden faults.

13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!

Don’t let them control me.

Then I will be free of guilt

and innocent of great sin.

14 May the words of my mouth

and the meditation of my heart

be pleasing to you,

O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.


Reflect 

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”  This common idiom suggests that language alone can’t fully describe what an image can.  Perhaps David had this notion in mind when crafting this psalm.  He begins by describing the heavens as proclaiming the glory of God, day after day, night after night (vs. 1-2).  But the heavens did not declare this with mere words, but by simply living into what they were created to be.  David writes that the heavens did not use words (v. 3), and yet they are known to everyone and everything.  They speak to who God is, and what happens when we follow God, bringing revival (v. 7a), wisdom (v. 7b), joy (v. 8a), and insight (v. 8b).  In a way, the heavens speak for themselves - their worth is invaluable.


As the psalm continues, David shifts the focus of the psalm from the heavens to himself.  Perhaps he began to wonder what his own life would speak to.  If the heavens declare the glory of God, does his own life give that same proclamation?  He must have seen that there were things that are trying to distract him and pull him away from being focused on God.  I find this to be true in my own life.  There seems to be no shortage of things that want to pull me away from being fully present with God.  Tasks and to-do lists seem never ending.  Roles and responsibilities seem overwhelming.  Current events and crises seem devastating.  I often end each day with more things left undone than done - it can be discouraging and disappointing.  And yet despite what I have done or left undone, my life still speaks.  But what is it proclaiming?  Where is God in the midst of it all?


David ends the psalm asking that all of who he is - from his words to the very essence of his soul - be acceptable to God (v. 14).  May that be so for us today, so that like the heavens, our whole selves and our whole lives, in the fullness of who God created us to be, might proclaim and point to the glory of God; for we too are invaluable.


Respond 

Picture your life right now in its commonness and complexity.  What do you see?  If you had to draw your current life as a picture, what would it look like?  I invite you to either draw out what you see, or find a picture that depicts it.


What feelings arise in you as you reflect on this picture?  Where do you see God in the midst of that?  Let your life speak.


Rest 

God, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in life that I can forget who I am living for.  Help me to proclaim your glory in all that I do, all that I say, all that I am.  Amen.


About the Author


Emily is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church who serves in a co-vocational role in Sacramento, CA, both as an associate pastor at Common Ground Church and as a hospital chaplain student at Sutter Roseville Medical Center.  Emily is passionate about becoming a better listener and cultivating spaces where people can show up as their full selves, especially in intercultural contexts.  Some of her favorite things include: listening to people’s stories, being with her husband Ben and 10-month old daughter Isabel, and spending time in and around water.  You can follow along with her life, ministry, and everything in between on her Instagram (@emily.wickstrom).




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someone described a picture of a struggling baby bird being held in someone's hands as how they feel trying to hold their troubles. but then they saw God as the hands and the baby bird as themselves. i think that is a pretty accurate picture for me.

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