Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Mary C. Earle

Blessed be the Lord GOD.
—Psalm 72:18

Most of us, if we think about it at all, wonder about how God blesses us. For the Hebrew people, the reverse was their main concern. How might their lives bless God? How might their lives reveal God's own life-giving ways? How might their lives contribute to what the rabbis called in later generations tikkun olam, the repair of the world?

The psalms tell us that God cares for the poor and needy, for the weak and for the widows and orphans. In other words, when we immerse ourselves in the psalms, we discover—in complete consistency with Jesus' teaching—that we were not made for ourselves, but to bless God by remembering and caring for our neighbors. We bless God by noticing where the fabric of the world is torn or frayed, and then, through our own actions, seeking to repair that fabric.

When we bless God, we actively step out of our way to remember those who are so easily forgotten, overlooked or misunderstood in this competitive, rapacious society. Each morning, we awaken mindful that the world has been given to us as a gift, and that we are here as guests. We depart from our homes for the work of the day, seeking to bless God by care and compassion in everything, from the setting of public policy to the way we shop to the manner in which we greet others in the course of the day.

This is not some happy-therapy. From the Hebraic perspective, so essential to Jesus' life and teaching, this is participating in the life of God in the world. What blessing might you offer the living God this day? What thread of the fabric of life might you choose to begin to repair, through hidden, steady, patient attention and care? What does the living God invite you to behold and to bless in God's Name this day?

May my whole life this day be a blessing to You, O living God and God of the living. Amen.

Copyright ©2006 Mary C. Earle.