This morning’s Daily Lectionary Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) reading is Ecclesiastes 5:1-5.
Let us come with reverence and humility as we hear the Word of the Lord …
“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God; to draw near to listen is better than the sacrifice offered by fools; for they do not know how to keep from doing evil. Never be rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be quick to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few. For dreams come with many cares, and a fool’s voice with many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay fulfilling it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Fulfill what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not fulfill it.”
What does this say to us – the church – the body of Christ – the people of God – for we are all of these names for followers of Jesus Christ.
The succinct version is this – God and human beings do not belong to the same realm. Therefore, it is necessary to have a right attitude before God, to be humble before God, to keep our promises to God, and to be careful with our words for God hears how we speak and knows how we act.
Where then, might we be when we “come before God?” Is it only in the sanctuary of our church building? No, it is wherever we are, for there, God is with us.
We pray then, for God’s guidance for each word that we speak and each action that we take.
Let us pray …
Almighty and loving God, we come before you with humility, gratitude, and obedience, offering you all thanks and praise for this brand new day which rises into your fullness. We thank you that you have awakened us into this day for service to you. As we move through the day, we pray for the indwelling of your Holy Spirit in our hearts, minds, and souls, providing us guidance and wisdom. We pray that we may look to Christ our Lord to see how he spoke and behaved before we do the same, for we know that he not only came to love and save the people of this vast world, but that he also modeled just how each one of us should live our lives. May we then, seek his justice, love his kindness, and walk with his humility before you, Lord God, and beside each of our fellow human beings. Go before us, we pray; guard behind us, be our foundation, and the light upon our pathways, today and always. As we seek to walk in Christ’s footsteps and be his vessels, we pray in his holy name. Amen.
Rev. Susan Carter Wiggins