Pause

If you think of glory as light, it is bright; we are amazed and blinded in its presence.

Love, though, is warm; we are invited to enter it, to be enveloped by its welcome.

Imagine these two portions of the spectrum coming together, one bleeding into the other, each becoming part of the other. You find it hard to distinguish them as separate.

Now think of God.

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Listen

Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and women alike, old and young together! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 148:11-14

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Think

"Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose." If you know that line, then you know about one of the best television shows in history. It comes from the NBC television hit series "Friday Night Lights" featuring Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton.

The phrase is what the football team says before every game: clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. Sure, they lose sometimes. But that’s beside the point. The motto helps the team to unite; they are one team united under one phrase.

What if we had to choose one phrase to unite all of God’s people? It would be a difficult task to say the least. The psalmist in today’s passage, however, may beg to differ. In today’s passage, everyone is called to praise the Lord. Kings and rulers, people of every nation, children and elderly, women and men: all of God’s people are summoned to praise the Lord.

Maybe that can be the phrase that can help unite us: praise the Lord. Sisters and brothers, all of God’s creation, let us praise the Lord.

Aram Bae

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Pray

God of glory and love, I confess that it is often easy to focus on the differences I have with people in my own faith community rather than what can bring us together. Help me to praise you, to give you thanks for who you are in my life, and may that unite me with fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. Amen.

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Go

God the Creator, guide my heart and fill it with kindness and gentleness.
God the Redeemer, clear my mind and focus me with mercy and grace.

God the Sustainer, steady my soul and convict it with justice and truth.

As you bless me today with your glory and love, may I bless others too.

Aram Bae

Aram Bae is director of family ministries at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in the heart of Manhattan. She’s writing her dissertation on youth ministry and in her next life would like to be Anthony Bourdain. She’s a northerner by location but a southern gal at heart; nothing makes her smile bigger than a plate of fried chicken, barbeque, and collard greens. Cornbread sweetens the pot, too!

Turn Your Eyes

Ken Medema

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