Messiah: O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion

Sunday’s Scripture ~ Isaiah 40:9 and 60:1.

The older I become, the more of an early riser God invites me to be. I used to fight it, but now I am in the acceptance phase.

I used to think if I woke up early, I could go back to sleep – eek out a few more minutes – and then I would wake fully rested.

Wrong.

That method actually makes me (makes everyone?) more groggy. So no more fighting – and no more alarm clock setting. I wake up – I get up. No matter the time – no hitting the snooze.

I arise.

I spend intentional time in the morning greeting God for the day ahead. This usually involves scrolling through headlines and checking messages received overnight. Then I turn to my calendar to see where – and in who – I will meet God that day. Some days are planned to the minute while others are wide open and ready to surprise. And in the quiet of the morning – knowing a little or a lot of what has happened over night or what will happen in the hours before me – I am thankful. For God. For my relationship with God. For God’s good news that I have received. And for the opportunity to share God’s good news in the new day.

Each time I have heard Rev. Adam Hamilton speak he shares (reminds) his listeners that he begins each day praying a version of John Wesley’s Covenant Prayer that reads

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside by thee.
Exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.*

In the early hours of each day Hamilton once again offers his life to God in response to God offering that day to him. What a gift! And it is the same gift that God gives to each of us.

I have heard it said, Each day is a gift- that is why we call it the present. So then, what will you do with the gift of today? Tomorrow and the next?

How do you greet each day – are you eager to meet it or begrudgingly asking for five more minutes?

When do you acknowledge God in your day? What do you say? How do you act?

Consider these questions as you consider what offering you will make when you arise the remainder of this week.

With each new day God draws us further into his light and promise of salvation. What a gift! Arise each day – receive its gifting anew – and share it once more.

Prayer: Spend a few moments in silence and then offer Wesley’s Covenant Prayer.

*”A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition,” The United Methodist Hymnal 607.

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