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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, May 4, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 118:14–29

The Lord is my strength and my might;
   he has become my salvation.

There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
   the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
   the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
I shall not die, but I shall live,
   and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me severely,
   but he did not give me over to death.

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
   that I may enter through them
   and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;
   the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me
   and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
   it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
   let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
   O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
   We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God,
   and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
   up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
   you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
   for his steadfast love endures forever. (NRSV)

When I was growing up, the pastor of my church started worship every Sunday with the call, “This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” On Sunday mornings when the weather was considered particularly bad, he would make some sort of joke about “Yes, even this day too.” To this day, I often think of him and this passage on a day where I am getting soaked by pouring rain and, with a strong side of cynicism, I recite the verse.

Reading more of the psalm, though, I find it interesting how just a few lines earlier the author reminds us that the stone that was rejected by the builders went on to become the chief cornerstone. It makes me think about how Jesus was rejected by the authorities and yet went on to become the cornerstone of the Christian church. And it makes me think about the days or things I cast aside. In my desire to see God’s kingdom realized here on earth, what am I falsely rejecting? About what do I need a not-so-sarcastic “yes, even this too” reminder?

God, help me not to dismiss the value in your creation. Help me to see and celebrate creation, especially on days when I do not recognize it myself. This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Amen.

Written by Katie Patterson, Director of Urban Youth Mission

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