Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! – Psalm 141:2 ESV
Mary Artemisia Lathbury had a gift for words. Born on this day in 1841 in Manchester, New York, she focused on art in her youth but eventually felt God’s call to be a writer. A passionate believer in religious education, she became the general editor of important Sunday School materials.
She was associated with the Chautauqua Movement, a group dedicated to encouraging religious education, often meeting in picturesque surroundings in New York state. Mary became known as the “poet laureate of Chautauqua.”
During the summer meetings of 1877, the leaders felt the need for an appropriate evening vesper hymn. Inspired by a spectacular sunset, Lathbury wrote the words to a hymn she called “Day is Dying in the West.”
Observing a glorious sunset, her thoughts turned to God. Confident in Him, she wrote how “Heav’n is touching earth with rest.” Her lyrics remind us that we can trust Him throughout the night, and we can rest in peace.
Just looking at the mysteries of the night sky reminds us of His creative power. Overwhelmed with awe, our hearts can cry, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts! Heav’n and earth are full of Thee! Heav’n and earth are praising Thee, O Lord most high!”
Think about the glory of creation in your life. God demonstrates power and diversity. Remember how amazing it is that He loves you and that you can trust Him.
PrayerFather, thank You for the world You have made. I join all creation in worshiping You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended ReadingPsalm 141