My thoughts (Melody Merida):
When I was a child, my grandfather was a Baptist preacher. He tended to gravitate to small, backwoods Baptist churches that didn’t seem to have a lot going for them save a thriving senior citizen group. He pastored churches in Indiana, New York, Illinois, and West Virginia throughout his lifetime. I vividly remember making several family road trips to visit grandma and grandpa for the weekend.
My three siblings and I hated these visits! The churches would invariably hold some type of welcome dinner on our arrival. This dinner always included of lots of strangers hugging us and telling us how excited they were to meet us. Apparently my grandparents had announced from the pulpit our expected arrival. But the dinner was just the beginning.
You see, my grandparent’s churches rarely had much in the way of a children’s ministry. When my two brothers, my sister, and I visited, we often doubled or tripled the under-18 crowd. Being the oddity that we were, it was always expected that we would provide a show for the congregation. For weeks we would rehearse. My mother would play the piano and my father would lead as we, the Merida Family Singers, would sing a couple of songs for the “crowd.” Not only did we sing, we would each have some Scripture we quoted from memory, and occasionally my brother would do some preaching or I would do some “dramatic” monologues.
The one common denominator in all of these visits was the quoting of the 100th Psalm. Without fail it seemed I would be the one asked to quote this chapter. Over and over and over again! So naturally I laughed when I was asked to write something for Be Still and Know using Psalm 100. I thought, “Oh, I’ve got this one in the bag! I know this Psalm inside and out.”
But I decided I was going to try to hear something new in the Scripture. So I read it, prayed about it, read it again, prayed some more. I did this for a couple of days, letting it marinate. And then I understood why so many people wanted us to speak these wonderful words of God’s love to them.
How many times have we felt as though we don’t belong anywhere? How often have we felt alone? Psalm 100 tells us that we are made by God and therefore we belong to God. We are never alone; our Shepherd is always with us — even when we wander out of the pasture. We are God’s people, and as such we are all loved beyond measure. Is there greater news than this?
Prayer for the day: God, teach me how to wrap myself in your love and to know that I belong to you, always and forever. Amen.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.