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Monday, February 15, 2016

Morning Has Broken

Well, we are about six weeks into the new year and I wonder how many of us have already decided that 2016 has been a colossal failure. I wonder how many have found that our will power and the motivational quotes on the post-it notes on our mirrors have left us in the same broken, desperate state we have been too many times before. I wonder how many started strong and went to bed last night weak and weary. I wonder how many never even got started.

Last night as I drove to church, wondering about how many more chances God might be willing to give us, I listened to an old Third Day CD which I recently found in the back of my closet. I had forgotten that it contained a cover of one of the very first songs I remember singing at chapel in the Episcopal school I attended from 1st - 3rd grade.

The words washed over me, reminding me that if our eyes were to flutter open this morning, there would be another chance to become something new and it was just a matter of remembering that our power and quotes and our will had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

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 rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven 
Like the first dew fall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass

Maybe just as we open our eyes to see that morning has broken today as a gracious gift to us from the Creator, we must give a gift back to Him first. Before we tie our shoes. Before we make our list. Before we pour our coffee. We must recognize that we come to this morning broken. Broken and busted up and confused and wondering where in the world to start again. Through humility and surrender and arms open wide to His grace we can acknowledge that we have walked through deeper waters and harsher roads than we expected. We can acknowledge that our resolutions and our plans and our power did not bring the morning today. We can acknowledge that His feet have passed through all the days with us and that He is the only one who can be given the credit for bringing a new day dawning blessedly and gloriously before us.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers they shall not overwhelm you; When you walk through the fire you shall not be burned; and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
-Isaiah 43:2-3a

As I listened to the sermon last night, I realize again how very important it was that I get my tail in that pew every week because God always has something to say to me. I scrambled for a pencil to jot down my wise pastor's words in the corner of my bulletin before I left the sanctuary. In closing last night, he reminded us that the God we worship is a God of new beginnings. He is the God that rolled the stone away. He is a God of second and third and fourth chances. He is a God that makes things new so that whatever has been - whatever has been - can be thrown to the side so that He can open paths to what can be.

And what we can be when we turn back to Him to ask His forgiveness and set our feet along the path with Him is a new, perfect, clean, unbroken being wrapped in His grace and His mercy.

Go look out the window, friends. Morning has broken, like the first dawn. Sing Hallelujah.  A new day is born.

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