Before changing his name to Yusef Islam later in the decade, Cat Stevens released Morning Has Broken in 1972. The song, based on a hymn published in 1931, reached #1 on the US Bill Board Adult Contemporary Chart.
The tune and lyrics combine to greet each dawn like the first day of creation.
Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world
Sweet the rains new fall, sunlit from Heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day
May God grant us the grace to awake each day with the Psalmist’s words on our lips:
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Since moving to Atlanta, several senior communities have invited me to speak at their Vespers’ Service. The title comes from a Latin word meaning “evening.” Technically, the worship service occurs at the 6th canonical hour in the late afternoon. In common usage, however, it refers to any evening prayer service.
The Anglican tradition calls the service “evensong” which appeals to the poet in me. The United Methodist Book of Worship takes a more prosaic approach with the title: “An Order of Evening Praise and Prayer.” More descriptive, certainly, but not nearly as lyrical.
An ancient prayer from the 4th century, Syrian church declares:
We praise and thank you, O God,
for you are without beginning and without end.
Through Christ, you created the whole world;
through Christ, you preserve it.
You made the day for the works of light
and the night for the refreshment of our minds and bodies.
Keep us now in Christ; grant us a peaceful evening,
a night free from sin; and bring us at last to eternal life.
Through Christ and in the Holy Spirit,
we offer you all glory, honor, and worship,
now and forever.
During a recent trip, the word “WARNING” suddenly appeared on my car’s information screen. Alarmed that something might be wrong, I glanced down to read the message. It declared:
I grimaced at the irony. The WARNING caused the very situation it was designed to prevent. THEN the display required me to push “OK” in order to clear the screen.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Like most males, I take great pride in my multitasking abilities. I can read a TV program, listen to a book, and watch my wife all at the same time. Or is that “watch,” “read,” and “listen?” Regardless, I’m really good at it!
In computers, multitasking executes multiple tasks concurrently for greater efficiency. However, studies indicate the human brain does not operate in this fashion. In fact, multitasking can lead to inefficiency and inattentiveness.
The new “Hands Free” law in Georgia prohibits a driver from touching a cell phone while operating a vehicle. Regardless of our belief to the contrary, human beings do not multitask well. The road provides enough distractions without adding a digital device to the mix.
So heed the WARNING: Focus your attention on driving.
The life you save may be your own. Or mine!
The New Testament contains four gospels that proclaim God’s Good News. As evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote their accounts to introduce people to Jesus Christ.
Over the centuries, others have retold the gospel story in a rich variety of ways. Jesus’ life has been portrayed through paintings, sculptures, frescoes, stained glass, operas, musicals, and novels. Although the medium changes with time, the message endures through eternity.
In our post-modern world, Christian authors continue to seek fresh, new ways to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love. Our August worship series is based on a book by James Kemp entitled The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss. The sermons will include:
God’s children of all ages are invited to join us each Sunday in August.