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Welcome to the JCPC Daily Reflections Blog. Reflections are daily devotionals authored by JCPC pastors, staff and members and provide insight, guidance and comfort to help you make it through each day. If you’d like to receive Reflections each day via email,  provide your email address.

Friday, August 27 2021


“Then a voice came from the throne, saying: ‘Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!’”

-Revelation 19:5


In order to live-stream the Timothy Miller concert this Sunday in the Great Hall at 10:00 a.m., we had to pay for an additional license so that the composers and arrangers of the music he will sing would get paid their royalties. This new license allows us to live-stream music outside of worship services, but it also covers some music for worship that we have been unable to use in our online services thus far. One of those is the opening hymn for this week, Morning Has Broken.


The tune, familiar to many of you and written by Scottish composer Mary M. Macdonald, is based off of a Scottish folk tune, and the words were written by English author Eleanor Farjeon. Farjeon was asked to write text for a hymn that offered praise to God each and every day. The first stanza is full of imagery from nature:

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 Word!


The chirp of cicadas is a common sound around the world in summer, but the Japanese are hyper aware of this and other seasonal markers. Before I moved to Japan almost a decade ago, I never really noticed that characteristic and often ear-piercing sound, but now the sound of the newly-emerged cicadas screaming their little hearts out instantly instills a sense of summer nostalgia in me.


But I’m not sure I’ve ever praised God for all those little cicadas! I often find myself overlooking the immense abundance of praiseworthy things in my life because of my busy schedule. Maybe you are the same way. We often talk about taking time to “smell the roses”, but how many of us actually do that, literally or figuratively? When was the last time you “pressed pause” and said a small prayer of thanksgiving for something small and minor, yet quite miraculous? In all of the expansive galaxy, we’ve only ever found life on our home - planet earth. Something as simple as the noisy vibrations of a cicada’s wings are a rare miracle that God has given us a chance to experience. Take some time and praise God for something ordinary in your life today.

Prayer for Today

God of unending blessings, thank you for this life and all the beauty around us. Help us to calm our minds from time to time so that we may praise you for anything and everything. Glory to you, God of all creation. Amen.

Posted by: AT 06:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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