Week of 3 Lent, Year One[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 80 (morning) // 77, 79 (evening)
Our Psalm for this morning contains one of the most beautiful images of God’s people, telling the whole story of God’s people as if they were a single vine. Imagined as a single vine, God’s people have deep and wide connections with the earth and with one another, though spread across time and space.
As the Psalmist tells it, God first delivered this vine from Egypt and transplanted it in a piece of land that he had prepared for it. The vine took root in this good ground. The vine grew tremendously: it overshadowed mountains, and its boughs covered “the towering cedar trees”; its tendrils and branches reached to the seas. But then its protective walls fell apart, so that any wild animal could trample on it, and any passerby could “pluck off its grapes.”
So the Psalmist calls out to God, “look down from heaven; behold and tend this vine; preserve what your right hand has planted.” We can make these words our prayer today, calling God’s attention to this earth, asking him to tend what he has planted. And we can imagine ourselves as part of a planet and a people that need God’s nurture and care. Surely this image of God’s people as a vine is longing to connect with us today, reaching out to us wherever we are.
Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.