Monday: Psalm 105, 1 Samuel 31, Colossians 2.20-3.11

from Megan Pinckard

“Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” 

I have to do it everyday. I go through them so quickly. Minute by minute the grime and grimness wears them threadbare. It might start with a complaint as I get out of bed. It might begin with a lobbed curse at a dangerous driver. It could begin again with ignoring a stranger in need, forgoing a friend, gossiping about a coworker, cutting off a family member, cutting off another driver on the road. 

It may be that I’ve just neglected to pray. 

But one way or another--one minute or the next--I must put on my new self. I must surrender myself to Christ again to clothe me with himself. Renewed, day by day by day. Funny, that only with Christ in me can I really be myself. So often I feel out of bounds with reality, let alone with whom I’m meant to be. There is Christ for that. 

There, there is Christ in that smile. There is Christ in his giving. There is Christ in her encouragement. There is Christ in their counselling. Little Christs, everywhere, burning lights blazing. When I am not myself, when I am my old self, there is Christ again, serving me. Suddenly I am my self again. I shine. 

Megan Pinckard buys books and toys for a living. She also buys too many books for herself. 

Monday: Psalm 74-76, 1 Samuel 18, Acts 25:13-27

from Lydia Buchanan

What I think about when I read these passages--the prose in 1 Samuel 18 and in Acts 23--is jealousy for the blessings of God and who we hold anger against when they’re missing. 

In Samuel, Saul is jealous of David. Fresh off his victory over Goliath, David is ascending in power, military success, and popularity (1 Sam. 18:7). It’s clear that God is with David and not-so-clear that he is with Saul. “Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David, but had left Saul” (1 Samuel 18-12). Instead of turning to God to confess his mistakes, or even honestly crying out to God about his jealousy and fear, Saul makes his own plans, tries to be his own God in this situation. He plots for David to die in battle. It doesn’t work.

 I think most of us know how the rest of this story goes: there is no peace in Israel until Saul dies. David, chosen by God, is untouchable. Saul continues to try to kill him. Saul, in his anxiety and envy, stumbles further from the will of God and eventually commits suicide. It’s dark. And if you take out the battles, it’s relatable. The blessings of God are miraculous and life-changing. It can be hard to see the Lord clearly at work in the lives of others and silent in our own. For me, Saul, and the religious leaders persecuting Paul in Acts, it is tempting to turn our fears into jealousy against the person we see as a rival for God’s blessings, as if the problem is that God can only be good to a limited few at a time. 

 In today’s passages, neither Saul nor the religious leaders out to get Paul stop and talk to God, tell him their heart. They do not cry, as the Psalmist does “Why have you rejected us forever, O God? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture? Remember. . . “ (Psalm 74: 1-2). They do not search him out. 

 I pray that today we would turn to you, God of blessings, with the struggles of our hearts. Give us the courage and faith to speak the truth, which you already know, and hear our words with mercy.

Lydia Buchanan finds the goodness of the Lord in summer tomatoes. She lives in Brighton. 

Monday: Psalm 56-58, 60, Acts 21.1-16, Luke 7.36-50

from Drue Rockett

This past week, I stumbled upon a quote by Dr. Timothy Keller that says, “The only person who dares wake up a king at 3:00 AM for a glass of water is a child. We have that kind of access.” 

Not only does the King of this Universe bend down from Heaven to hear our prayers, but He cares so tenderly about our worries and our sorrows. In Psalm 56:8, David says, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” I’m currently in a season of aching for motherhood. It is taking longer than I anticipated for this desire to be fulfilled. I find so much comfort in knowing that every tear that has rolled down my cheek, every sleepless night tossing to and fro with worry, has not gone unnoticed by our God.

Life on this side of heaven is full of unfulfilled desires, disappointment, and loss. Not one of us is exempt. But as we see in the story of Lazarus, the same God who raises the dead climbs down into the valley of tears with us, walking alongside us through our grieving. Soon, a day will come when He will dry our tears forevermore. Until then, He promises to be near the broken-hearted. 

I live in Back Bay with my husband Carson. We’re huge fans of picnicking on the Charles River in the summer and would love for you to join us!