The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
I am just as guilty as anyone of sometimes living my faith by rote. I am sure at times we all recite things we believe: The Lord's Prayer; Apostles' Creed; the Doxology; National Anthem, and the Pledge of Allegiance. We sing our hymns and, perhaps, even celebrate the Sacraments without dwelling on the meaning of the words. Each time we do so, we lose an opportunity to reinforce our beliefs and bury them deeper into our hearts so we can be ready to witness as we talk the talk and walk the walk.
I was reminded of this as I read Psalm 19 where King David is reflecting upon his beliefs. As he meditated, he thought about what he believed beginning with Creation and moving onto God's Word, his own sinfulness, and his need for salvation. David wrote about how God's handiwork in nature cannot be ignored, and how great a reward there is for living in accord with God's will. But, although the natural world is evidence of God's existence, we should remember that only the Bible tells us how we can have salvation here and now.
So, let us all make this our routine during the Lenten season - thinking about and reviewing our beliefs, and making adjustments if needed so we can walk just that much closer with Christ each and every day.
Here's an exercise, paraphrasing The Lord's Prayer, which just might help you find deeper meaning in and understanding of the words:
Our Father - Creator of all
Who art in Heaven - You reign over all from on high.
Hallowed be thy name - You are the one and only holy one. May your name be glorified.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven - May your reign be established and your will be done now on earth.
Give us this day our daily bread - Provide us what we need so our faith may be strengthened.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us - If we forgive those who sin against us, our sins will be forgiven. Help us to love our neighbors as we do ourselves.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil - Help us to live in accord with your will, and deliver us from the evil one.
For thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen - Your Kingdom rules now and forever. Amen.
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalms 50 or 19, 46