Reading: Psalm 118: 1-2 & 19-29
Verse 24 – This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Today we are blessed to join thousands upon thousands who have read this text and have been lifted by hope or praise or deliverance or joy. The great cloud of witness that has read this Psalm begins in the earliest days of the Passover celebration, as they celebrated the day the Lord led them from slavery. This Psalm is still read each year as part of the Passover liturgy. Fast forward from that first Passover and you will hear these words being read again and again in times of trial and struggle. The Psalm was read often during the exile in Babylon and then in later years under the oppression and persecution of the Romans. In these times, Psalm 118 brought comfort and reassurance of God’s love and gave them hope for a better future.
This well-known Psalm was used as a part of the Palm Sunday procession as well. Verse 26 was one of the Old Testament passages shouted as Jesus entered the city. Early on in the Christian tradition this Psalm took on new meaning as a key Lenten reading. And certainly this Psalm was on Jesus’ mind as He entered Jerusalem. He entered the gates in righteousness (verse 19), knowing full well the new meaning of verse 22 – the stone that would soon be rejected. The light of God was shining upon the people as He joined the festal procession (verse 27). As Christians today, we remain profoundly connected to the words of Psalm 118.
Verse 24 reads, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”. Let us rejoice indeed! Read through this great Psalm again and claim for yourself whatever you need or desire. If you need deliverance or want to celebrate newfound freedom, read and connect to the earliest traditions of this Psalm. If you need hope, read and celebrate the love of God that flows throughout this text. If you are feeling led to lift your praises to God, read the Psalm as those first Palm Sunday participants did, offering praise for God’s presence and blessing. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever”. Amen and amen!