“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”–Psalm 19:14
Psalm 19 begins with the psalmist bearing witness to the glory and splendor of God’s creation. We too see the work of our creative God is on display around us each day. As part of his worship experience, the psalmist reminds himself and reminds us of the praise due to the Creator for such handiwork. Then the psalmist points us to the significance of God’s law, our own human limitation, and our need for God’s grace. Psalm 19 concludes with words that have become formed on our lips as a public and private prayer.
This time of year in the South is always interesting to me. While grateful not to be buried under inches of snow, I find myself staring out the window at barren branches. The boring colors of brown and gray seem magnified in my yard. The grass appears dead, and the bushes look like overgrown sticks. The landscape is bleak. I long to see buds of new life. Yet I know that creation needs the season of winter to birth forth the beauty of spring, and in just a few weeks, creation will sing its greatest anthem as buds form and open bursting forth with color.
On the church calendar this week is Ash Wednesday, and together, we as people of faith will move into our Lenten observances. My hope is that creation will be our guide. I know that I find myself in need of outward and visible reminders of new growth, especially when I can’t yet see growth in my own internal life. The practices of Lent draw me into new forms of discipline. It may be the challenge of fasting, praying, or reading scripture in a new way, but those disciplines encourage me to commit to a practice for forty days.
God is not done creating but continues to create in us every day. Practicing Lent prepares my heart and life to be aware of what God is creating in me. As we move into this week, trust that God is still working on the greatest creation yet, YOU. Like the psalmist, may our prayer be that our lives demonstrate God’s work in us through the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart.
LeAnn Gunter Johns is a 2004 graduate of McAfee School of Theology. She has served churches in Georgia and California and now lives in Macon, Georgia with her husband, Barry and their two boys, Parker and Patrick. In her free time she enjoys cheering on the Stanford Cardinal and Mercer Bears, running, and drinking coffee!