Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 4.22.21

By April 22, 2021Daily Bread

I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below.

Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.

Today’s Scripture:

Psalm 16:5-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.
10 For you do not give me up to Sheol,
or let your faithful one see the Pit.

11 You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

Caroline Hwang wrote an article in Newsweek magazine a dozen years ago about her experience of being a child of immigrants who moved to this country two years before she was born.  To ensure that she reaped all the advantages of this country, her parents saw to it that she became fully assimilated.  She wrote:  “To my parents, I am all American, and the sacrifices they made in leaving Korea … pale in comparison to the opportunities those sacrifices gave me. They do not see that I straddle two cultures, nor that I feel displaced in the only country I know. I identify with Americans, but Americans do not identify with me. I’ve never known what it’s like to belong to a community—neither one at large, nor of an extended family.” (Caroline Hwang, “The Good Daughter: As the child of immigrants, I’m torn between my parents’ dreams and my own,” Newsweek, September 21, 1998, 16)

It is that last sentence that particularly strikes me:  “I’ve never known what it’s like to belong to a community—neither one at large, nor of an extended family.”

Do you know what it’s like to belong to a community—one at large or of an extended family?  I do know what that’s like—but not just because of my immediate and extended family.  There’s another community, another people, described in 1 Peter:  “Once you were no people, but now you are God’s people.”  (1 Peter 2:10)

Today, we are a rootless society–much on the move.  I read that other day that in an average year, something like 40 million Americans move.  No wonder we have lost much of the connectedness that our society once had in our past.  In a sense we have to carry our sense of identity with us.  We are probably closer to the nomadic existence of Abraham than we are to rural America of the early 20th century, in some ways.  Abraham’s people always knew who they were in spite of their existence as wanderers–not simply because Abraham was their father, but because they felt a real connection with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  That gave them their identity.  It still does today wherever the children of Abraham may roam.

We claim that same heritage.  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is our God–not by birth, but by adoption.  That’s who we are.  We are God’s people.  God’s family.  God’s children.

What do you know about your people?  What about the family is it that gives you identity?  For one thing, it’s family history, scoundrels and saints alike.  I’ve always had an interest in geneology, though not enough time to pursue that interest.  When I was in high school, I enrolled in a geneology class held after school.  I can remember my dad telling me, “Son, don’t shake the family tree too hard, there’s no tellin’ what’s liable to fall out!”  I remember hearing stories about ancestors and kin folks, some saints, others falling somewhere short of sainthood.  All those stories were told to me to entertain but also to teach me the values of our family.

In the pages of scripture and in the history of the church we meet saints and scoundrels.  They teach us about the values of the family of faith.  They help us shape our lives.  We have a great inheritance.

The psalmist celebrates this in Psalm 16, our reading for today:

I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.

There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Children of the Heavenly Father”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul. Listen to this hymn on SoundCloud.

Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:
Your Protector never slumbers;
At the will of your Defender
Every foeman must surrender.

Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.

I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

Here’s more about this passage of scripture via Upper Room devotionals:

THE LABYRINTH

God provides us a path to follow and trusts us to follow it.

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