A Devotion for Monday, April 13, 2020
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (NRSV)
1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
14 The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.
15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
16 the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me severely,
but he did not give me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Thoughts from “The Word in Season”
The Melody of the Bible
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”
This is the last in a series of six psalms (113-118) that praise God as one who helps the humble. In this psalm God entirely turns the tables; the humbled one, “the stone that the builders rejected,” is not merely helped but made into “the chief cornerstone.”
Several New Testament writers use this very verse (22) to speak of Jesus (Matthew 21:42, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:7), who is a perfect example of this. But we err if we only see this verse as being about Jesus. If the entire Bible were a symphony, this verse is a recurring melody – a melody heard long before and echoing long after Jesus.
Throughout the biblical story – from Abraham and Sarah in Genesis right through the disciples and Paul in the New Testament – unlikely persons again and again become Gods’ chosen instruments for good. And you and I have been chosen as well.
Prayer: God of all, build me up and bless my service in this world. Amen.
Scripture Reading for Personal Reflection:
Colossians 3:12-17 (NRSV)
12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
For this week, I will be providing a passage to reflect on, but will not be offering my own reflection as I am taking some time to rest up this week. So, a suggestion for your own reflections: Read the passage aloud once, let it settle in your mind. Then read it silently, to yourself. Again let it settle in your mind, and in your heart. Then read it aloud one more time, and reflect on what it might mean for you, and for living our your faith – especially in these days.
If you like, do a journal to write down your thoughts. If you can share this with a spouse or other home companion (child, parent), you can take turns reading the passage aloud – one reading the first time, the other the second time – then after the second reading aloud, you could share your thoughts with each other.
I hope this can be a meaningful opportunity for you in your personal devotions this week!
Hymn for Reflection:
“Ubi Caritas et Amor” (ELW #642, WOV #665) Lyrics Below
“ This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
– Psalm 118:24 (NRSV)
Blessings & Peace,
Want to do something positive in this uncertain, anxious time?
Write an encouraging card, note or letter for our elderly friends at Senior Star (there’s a bin in the breezeway where you can place them) – or for one of our shut-ins (Ken Bechtler, Myrtle Daneilson, Helen Randall and Barb Morphew) which can be brought to church for delivery.
Or, make some cheerful, simple artwork – for others and for yourself – that can be put in a window to cheer you up, and those who may see it in your neighborhood.
Sign up to ring the church bells to send the message to our community that God is with us in the midst of this time, and that we at Messiah are praying for those who are affected, and for an end to the pandemic.
Do you Quilt? How about making Masks out of quilting fabric? It’s supposed to be one of the best fabrics to use, and there are patterns online to make them.
For those affected in any way by the Covid-19 pandemic.
For our congregation in this time of separation, that we would yet be held together.
Have another idea? Let me know, and I will share it here!
Ubi caritas et amor,
Ubi caritas Deus i-biest
Where true charity and love abide,
God is dwelling there; God is dwelling there