GM: A NEW YEAR’S MESSAGE WITH NO CONTEXT OTHER THAN GOD’S LOVE FOR MANKIND.
What is man that you are mindful of him…..Psalm 8:4
This morning as I walked to the study to begin my early morning devotions, I wondered if there was a new way to begin, in keeping with the start of a New Year.
And within a few seconds the words of this very instructive hymn, ( my mentor and friend the late Anglican Bishop of Kingston Herman Spence once told me that ” sleep is a little death “) came into my mind.
A hymn I had not sung for a long time. So I received this gift with thanks, and share it with you at the start of this new day, new month, new year, and hopefully the beginning of a new appreciation of God’s purposes for your life and mine .
For, as I was led to declare yesterday in a sermon delivered at the 10:30 service at my church, inspired by the Psalmist’s ( 8:4) ‘ big questions of life ‘, ” What is man that you are mindful of him”, this God cares for us, even to ‘ death on a Cross.
And so the Hymnwriter speaks about the love of this God, and that this love is , ‘ new every morning’.
So too are His mercies, even in the ‘ common ‘ things of life; the trivial round….the gardening, the collection of the garbage, the trip to the supermarket, going to work, making a telephone call or facetime, or reading this message.
Our job is to ‘ hallow’ all of these things – give thanks and glorify God in all things. And when our mind is set to glorify God in all things, God Himself, as with the case of Abraham, ‘ will provide the lamb for the sacrifice’, provide the opportunity and means to deny ourselves, and find a way to Him. As He did ultimately with His Son on Calvary!
And Who then calls us ‘ to deny self and follow Him’, Who only is The Way, The Truth, and The Life we need and ought to seek. Minutely! And more so, at the start of a new day, and a new year.
Then finally with this attitude of glorifying God in all things, we will be ‘ fit for perfect rest above’.
O help us dear God, this and every day, to live more nearly as we pray.
THE HYMN : NEW EVERY MORNING IS THE LOVE
New every morning is the love
our wakening and uprising prove;
through sleep and darkness safely brought,
restored to life and power and thought.
New mercies, each returning day,
hover around us while we pray;
new perils past, new sins forgiven,
new thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.
If on our daily course our mind
be set to hallow all we find,
new treasures still, of countless price,
God will provide for sacrifice.
The trivial round, the common task,
will furnish all we ought to ask:
room to deny ourselves; a road
to bring us daily nearer God.
Only, O Lord, in thy dear love,
fit us for perfect rest above;
and help us, this and every day,
to live more nearly as we pray.