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Week 4 – Wednesday

One family in Christ...for all the family: Loving, Serving, Growing

The Lord determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. 

Reading

Psalm 147.1-11
Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
    for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
    he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the broken-hearted,
    and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
    he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
    his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
    he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
    make melody to our God on the lyre.
He covers the heavens with clouds,
    prepares rain for the earth,
    makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the animals their food,
    and to the young ravens when they cry.
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
    in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Reflection

From the earliest times people have looked to the sun and moon and worshipped them. And many people today still look to the stars to predict what will happen, expecting them to reveal their fate.

The psalms remind us that the glory of the heavens has been created by God, who names and cares for everything. Our lives are not determined by the stars – rather we trust in God in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17.28).

Action

Like the stars, so the Church’s year follows set patterns, with links to the seasons. Find out more on the Church of England website about Rogationtide, Lammas Day and Creationtide. How might reclaiming these ancient traditions help today’s churches and communities?

Prayer

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed thy hand hath provided —
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

From “Great is thy faithfulness”,
by Thomas Chisholm (1866–1960)

Family Challenge

Praise God for the wonders of creation
Look up the words of a hymn, worship song or psalm that praises God for creation. Perhaps you have sung one at a Harvest Festival?

Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet #LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation – A 40-Day Challenge inspired and informed by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent book Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio (SPCK) are copyright 2020 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission. Full details of both resources are available on the Church of England website.

Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.