Proper 7, 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 89:1-18 (morning) // 89:19-52 (evening)
1 Samuel 5:1-12
As someone who chronically overestimates what I can get done in a day, I love today’s Scriptures for showing God working overnight . . . so I don’t have to.
In today’s first reading, the Philistines have stolen the ark of God and put it in the dwelling place of one of their own gods, named Dagon. The passage tells us that when the devotees of Dagon “rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord.” Somehow, God managed to triumph over a material “god” by the wee hours of the morning.
God also works overnight in our second passage. The temple police have arrested the early Christian apostles and thrown them into prison, but “during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors.” The angel brings the apostles out of prison and tells them to go speak in the temple, so “they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.” God has freed and sent out his apostles by sunrise.
Before taking on our own days, we might pause and ask what God has accomplished for us the night before. What victories, what liberating interventions, what bold commissions has God prepared to set the stage for us? Instead of starting our day by projecting impossible feats for ourselves, perhaps we could open our eyes each morning to discover how God worked as we slept.
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.