Happy New Year. The anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing speaks of ordinary grace, the daily presence of God. He writes, “God loves to come to dwell with us in the everyday places of our lives.” Holidays such as Easter, Christmas, and even New Years call us to attend to God’s special, miraculous grace. These times are wonderful but eventually come to an end. Today’s Sunday Psalm is a prayer to live in God’s ordinary grace.
We open the gift of each new minute, day, and year with expectancy. Daily—and this day especially—we lift our hands, hearts, and minds in a prayer for healing, justice, provision, growth, goodness, and loving relationships. Each box on the calendar we’ve dug into has held offerings we’ve gladly anticipated but many we’ve fearfully dreaded. As we look back, we ask for eyes like yours, able to see your hand and ordinary grace in every kind of moment, even the many mundane. Bring to mind the meaning from the tears and the message from the joy. Let us know you as Redeemer of time and pain that has slipped past but still haunts us. Give us ordinary grace.
God of Time:
And as we hope into the future based on your presence with us in the past, give us confidence to walk the mysterious and unknown way you have set before us. Let us not run the race with minds full of expectations but rather with wild faith and wide open hopefulness. Let us see Jesus walking before us as a guide and beside us as a friend. As you promised in the first Christmas, be God-with-us. In the coming year may we be people who call forth goodness and grace in others because it pours from you into and through us. Give us ordinary grace.
God of Ordinary Grace:
And as trouble and even tragedy befall us, let us not let loose of your hand and grasp false promises. Rather steady our skaking knees and trembling hearts with your quiet strong Spirit. Speak faith, hope, and the greatest gift—love—into each new moment we face. Give us ordinary grace.
In the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Personal notes: By God’s ordinary grace, I’ve finally turned the corner with my battle with long COVID. My lungs still need to heal fully but my strength is coming back. If you are a praying type and have prayed, thank you!
I’ve been writing and sending you Sunday Psalms (almost) weekly since last February. Writing a psalm weekly has been a delightful, difficult, and transformational exercise. I learned so much from the biblical psalms I studied to guide writing my own. I grew in my understanding of poetic expression. I developed as a writer. I prayed more consistently. Thank you for your help and participation with this project.
Today’s will be the last weekly Sunday Psalm. I need a poetic rest! But I will occasionally write others and send them out. And I will continue to pray for you. I will continue my midweek blog twice a month.
You may enjoy reading some of my most popular Sunday Psalms from the past year. And please feel free to share them with your family and friends.