United Church of Christ

How Lovely

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! - Psalm 84:1 (NRSV)

How lovely is your home, O God!

Your home is in all of creation. Your home is in the cold, tumbling rivers and the giant, mossy evergreens near where I live. It is in the eagle that soars just below the clouds and the salmon that swims upstream to spawn. Your home is in the parts of creation that are unfamiliar to me, too: sandy deserts and windswept mesas and swampy bayous.

How lovely is your home, O God!

Your home is wherever people gather. Your home is in two wrinkled hands held at a worn kitchen table and your home is in the imagination of children playing house under a tree during recess. It is in a congregation at worship, singing a new song for the first time. It is in the joyful tears at the baptism of a child and in a sad goodbye at a sunny graveside. Gatherings of those who worship in ways that are unfamiliar to me, but precious to you, are your home too.

How lovely is your home, O God!

Your home is in my heart. Your home is in the mess and the mistakes as well as in the grace and the gratitude. Your home is in the inward strength and the outward struggle. Your home is in the doubts at night and the faith at the break of day. Your home is in all that makes me who I am. And the parts of myself that are not yet known to me, those are your home too.

Prayer
Dear LORD, how lovely. Amen.

dd-brownell.pngAbout the Author
Jennifer Brownell is the Pastor of First Congregational Church of Vancouver, Washington, and the author of Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath, her inspiring memoir.

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