Restore My Soul

Trinity Sunday Readings: Genesis 1:1-2, Psalm 8; Matt 28:16-20; 2 Cor 13:11-14

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2

With great anticipation and joy, we made our way to the beach, to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The trek is packed with memories of family as well as sunscreen and ice chests full of snacks.  It didn’t matter that the first night’s walk on the beach was in the tail end of a storm with driving wind and rain, or that we were swarmed with mosquitoes the next morning.  Glorious walks and swims and seafood filled our “stay at home” souls.  The last early morning, the tide was high and had washed away all notice of humans, plastic garbage, and footsteps of fun in the sun.  

As I recited Psalm 23, walking in the waves with clouds partially blocking the rising sun, I also was cleansed, washed clean of my arrogance, my impatience, my sadness.  This certainly was not the Psalmist’s scene of “green pastures” and “still waters,” but for me a picture of the Power and Beauty of the Spirit of God hovering over the waters with relentless, faithful love.  So I rewrote the Psalm and offered it as my own prayer.

The Lord is my Creator/Sustainer, I want for nothing but you.

You make me lie down on sandy beaches. You lead me beside the relentless waves of your love. The Lord my Savior washes away my sin and…

Restores my soul.

You lead me to the sunlight of your glory for your purposes. Even though I live in a world of sadness and pain. I don’t fear death.

Your Presence O Spirit is always with me. Your Word guides, disciplines, and protects me.

Oh, what Goodness, Mercy, Truth and Grace have filled all my days from the womb of my birth to my old age.  You carry me.  You save me.

With hope I look to the promise of living in your kingdom forever and ever. Amen.

Practice 1.  Write your own Psalm. Try Psalm 23, or any other favorite Psalm. Spend some time rewriting each verse using your own words for your current challenges or expressions of gratitude.  Share it with your family or friends over a shared meal.

Fuller Studios has a great series with Bono discussing themes of justice in the Psalms. Also search You Tube for Bono and Eugene Peterson talking about Peterson’s Message Version of the Psalms.

Practice 2.  Memorize Scripture. This is probably one of the hardest disciplines, yet most rewarding of the Spiritual Practices.  Hiding God’s Word in your heart gives the Spirit of God access and fuel to light the tongue of fire over us. 

The key to memorizing anything is repetition and giving it an address in your mind to return to over and over again.  There are Scripture Memory Apps such as “Remember Me” or “The Bible Memory App” you can use on your phone! The old fashioned way:   On one side of a blank card, write out the verse.  Flip to the other side and write the Bible reference and a key word or theme.  As you review what you have memorized, start with the key word and reference, recite the verse, then check the words on the other side of the card.

Finally brothers and sisters, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Cor 13:11-12

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