URC Daily Devotion 31 December 2023

Sunday, 31 December 2023 
Psalm 15
Lord, who shall be admitted to your tent
and dwell on your holy mountain?
Those who walk without fault;
those who act with justice

and speak the truth from their hearts;
those who do not slander with their tongue;

those who do no wrong to their kindred,
who cast no slur on their neighbours,
who hold the godless in disdain,
but honour those who fear the Lord;

those who keep their word, come what may;
who take no interest on a loan
and accept no bribes against the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.

We read Psalm 15 as 2023 reaches its conclusion. Our planet has completed yet another circuit around the sun. Another twelve months have passed. We are all a year older, and hopefully wiser.

So, what wisdom does this Psalm hold for us? It presents us with the entry requirements to God’s presence – into true worship.  It offers us a middle path between God being so awesome as to be inaccessible, and so accessible that our devotion can be thoughtless.  But are the words a barrier or a gateway? If we dwell on them focussing on ourselves, they can feel impossible and prevent us entering into worship.  If instead we read them as we prepare for worship, we acknowledge our mistakes, limitations and ego, and enter worship reliant on the grace and love of God to welcome us.

We are called to walk a true path, to act justly, speak truthfully, and care for our families, community, and the innocent. (Other requirements, such as: respecting those that share our faith, having contempt for those that don’t, and refraining from careers in banking will require more reflection.)

So, as we embark upon a New Year let Psalm 15 prepare you as you step into 2024. May it guide your path and draw you closer into the heart of God.

O God, who can live in your presence?
Who can reach the heights of your holiness?
The path is found through honesty, justice, truthfulness,
   encouragement, generosity, forgiveness,
      compassion, integrity, faithfulness,
         being honourable, supportive and selfless.
These are the stepping stones towards Your eternity.
May we step forward in faith, seeking the way of Jesus, reliant upon the Spirit. Amen


Today’s writer

The Rev’d David Coaker serves with Grays URC in Essex


The Psalms: An Inclusive Language Version based on the Grail translation from the Hebrew
© 1963, 1986 The Grail (England) GIA Publications

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