Stay with us, for it is evening; the day is almost over. (Luke 24:29)
Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:26)
Your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
The LORD will guide you always. (Isaiah 58:10,11)
Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more;
the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. (Isaiah 60:20)
On no day will the gates of the Holy City ever be shut,
for there will be no night there. (Revelation 21:25)
— Christian Worship: Supplement; Evening Meditation, pg. 68.
I’ve been attempting, in my peccator way, to establish a pattern of prayer. It has been severely lacking in my life, and I believe that I have suffered from the same. NPH has a rite for evening meditation in Christian Worship: Supplement on page 68 which I have been using for the last couple months.
I have discovered in this process is how hard it is to repeat things. The passages above are how the rite begins. I constantly find myself glossing over them, or reading them without thinking, even aloud. I frequently desire to take advantage of the wide variety of rites available for such things and constantly mix it up and rework it.
Yet, if I force myself to continue reading and pondering these words, I grow. As much as novelty makes it easier to absorb something, you can’t understand information on the first hearing. God’s Word especially. By simple repetition, I’ve memorized these words. They are part of me now, appearing in my mind when I need comfort and peace. When I force myself to lay aside my impatience and ponder these words, the Holy Spirit unveils meaning in them.
So I continue to read them. Perhaps someday I will choose a different rite, I have the God-given freedom to do so (Compline looks interesting). But for the time being, I am learning to lay aside my desire for novelty and instead focus on the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
It is hard. Very hard. I am a child of the culture. I grew up with email, instant messaging, and the internet. I want everything now, and — in the vast majority of cases — I get it. But God has given us His Word, on which to ponder and meditate. These things take time and patience. Of which I have all too little.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. — John 1:1, ESV