“May my prayer be set before you
like incense; may the lifting up of my
hands be like the evening sacrifice.”
PSALM 141:2 NIV
Walking and Leaping and Praising
Jayce Pomeroy was a stickler for family devotions, but the range of ages in their household forced him and Naomi to be flexible. Prissie could remember when her parents first opted to divide and conquer their lot. Back then, being sorted with the “big kids” had been extra special because it meant a later bedtime.
Koji strolled into the family room and sat on the big chair Prissie leaned against. Bending down, he whispered in her ear. “I am pleased to learn that your family observes evensong.”
“Not really. I mean, we don’t sing anymore.” She pointed to the ceiling, because Zeke and Jude were going through their bedtime routine upstairs. Her younger brothers’ voices could be heard right through the floor. “Momma sings Bible songs with them and reviews memory verses while they’re in the tub.”
“Silver and gold have I none, but that which I have give I thee ….”
“Zeke’s participation is particularly enthusiastic,” Koji remarked.
Tad ambled in, humming along with the upstairs chorus. With sly look at his sister, he joined in, singing, “Splashing and streaking and praising God!”
Prissie wrinkled her nose. “That’s not how the song goes.”
“It was when Zeke was three.” Her big-big brother stretched out on one of the couches, hands behind his head, ankles crossed. “Wake me up once Dad’s done with their bedtime story.”
Koji piped up. “Is song a part of your devotion?”
Tad opened one eye. “Used to be when Aunt Ida lived next door. Remember that, Priss?”
She kept her attention firmly fixed on the lapful of socks she was sorting. “I remember. It was nice.”
Her brother murmured, “You miss her.”
The eighteen-year-old turned his attention back to Koji. “We do normal stuff to wind down in the evenings. Mom’ll read a chapter or two in this missionary biography we’re going through. Everyone’ll swap news. Dad’ll pray. That’s pretty much it.”
“Normal,” Koji echoed with a soft smile. “Talking and sitting and walking and lying down.”
Tad chuckled. “Borrowing lyrics from Deuteronomy?”
“Indeed.” At Prissie’s confused look, the boy recited the full verse. “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut. 11:19).
“Sure,” Tad said, yawning hugely. “Evening works best for us since Dad leaves for the bakery so early.”
Koji said, “Evening prayers and evening sacrifices often brought angels nearer to God’s people.”
Tad’s eyes might have been closed, but Prissie’s were wide open.
“There are examples in the Bible,” Koji explained.
The older boy hummed vaguely, then murmured, “If any turn up, you can wake me for that, too.”
With a small shake of his head, the young angel recited two passages. By the time he finished, Tad was sound asleep.
While I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen
in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight
about the time of the evening sacrifice. –Daniel 9:21
And when the time for the burning of incense came,
all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing
at the right side of the altar of incense. –Luke 1:10–11
Look into these things …
“Even angels long to look into these things.” –1 Peter 1:12
♦ What’s your usual evening routine?
♦ Does your family have their own version of devotions? What about your personal quiet time? How do you spend time with God?
♦ Are you familiar with the song Zeke and Jude are singing (and Tad is adapting)? [YouTube – Cedarmont Kids, “Silver and Gold Have I None”] Share a favorite childhood Bible song!