This Is the Day
This is the day that God has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24 (NRSV)
I am writing this devotion on the day that Taliban forces resumed control of Afghanistan, throwing into sudden peril the lives of countless Afghan women, girls, translators, and others.
You, mostly likely, are reading this devotion on the day before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. That unfathomable horror ended more than 3,000 lives, broke innumerable families, precipitated two deadly wars, prompted much career changing, and altered even the smallest details of our lives, from how we end our phone calls to what we can and cannot carry onto airplanes.
There is much about the past twenty years to reflect upon: innocence lost, the foolhardiness with which we send young people into battle, and the painful truth that the greatest threat to our national security is the hatred of homegrown white supremacists.
Perhaps we’ve also learned a few things: the importance of interfaith dialogue and understanding, for example, and the myriad ways in which all people and creation are connected.
But if there’s one thing this confluence of events makes clear to me, it is this: That one day can make all the difference. That entire lives—the whole world, even—can be changed in just one day. That this day, and every day, is a gift from God, a blank slate on which to begin again, keep on keeping on, let God’s light shine, live joyfully, and love deeply.
What will you do with this day?
Life is short, O God. But you have given us this day. So may we be swift to love this day. May we make haste to be kind this day. May we rejoice in you and live as if there is no tomorrow.
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.