The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words.
I implore your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
When I think of your ways, I turn my feet to your decrees;
I hurry and do not delay to keep your commandments.
Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law.
At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous ordinances.
I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts.
The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes.
The picture above might be a bit tough to see depending on the brightness of your monitor, but its supposed to look like that as it was taken about 12:30 in the morning in Rocky Mountain National Park two years ago. While I do not often rise at midnight for worship, I was awake at midnight that summer evening praising God with a dear friend of mine. We were camping with our families and he and I stayed up late in the night talking, praying, sharing. He has been a dear brother to me throughout my faith life and it was a blessing to share that time with him. As I read this I also think of those who follow the liturgy of the hours (or the divine office). One of the prayers (Matins) comes at around midnight and the next (Lauds) comes at 3a. I have read of these times of prayer and worship in several books including The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris and the Genesee Diary by Henri Nouwen. In both they share of the challenges that come with following the liturgy of the hours but the power that was experienced where the whole 24 hour cycle was centered around God. So often, I think we experience life as a series of unconnected segments – church time, family time, work time, school time, play time, sleep time, eating time, yard time, and so forth. Yet, what would happen if our whole day was centered around God and each other aspect was seen in a divine light?