June 12, 2010

The Grace of Routine

Psalm 104:19-30

He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.
Psalm 104:19


The psalmist applauds routine—moon and seasons, sun and days, creatures and food, people and work. And God receives the praise. Farmers milking cows, businesspeople riding the train into the city, exercisers walking with friends, students in classrooms—all find their place in routines that fit into biblical patterns of life.

Even breaking the daily routine on the weekend becomes a routine—sleeping an extra hour on Saturday morning, or making waffles on Saturday night, and of course celebrating a day of rest and worship on Sunday.

Some routines are seasonal—watching crocuses peep through a late snow, then lamenting as rabbits eat those brave first flowers of spring. Or maybe you celebrate a certain holiday each year with the same family members or friends.

Different temperaments enjoy a diversity of surprise and routine, and God knows what is best for all. Jeremiah finds comfort in God’s love and compassion, which are “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23). “New” is the surprise part. “Every morning” is the routine part. No wonder Jeremiah adds, “Great is your faithfulness.”

God’s faithful grace is in the routine, but there is nothing routine about God’s grace!

God of abounding grace, we give thanks for the routines of days and seasons, all reflecting your faithful grace and peace—and we remember that these are not in the least routine. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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