Monday in Holy Week, March 21

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (ESV)

1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”

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 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.

25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
up to the horns of the altar!

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 118, or at least part or parts of it, is most likely familiar to you as some of its words have been used in popular Christian songs, including some that we sing at Grace.  What I learned during my research was that it is thought by some that this joyful song of thanksgiving was recited by the crowds as Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  Also, this is said to be the last Psalm that Jesus sang with the disciples during the Last Supper.  Wow!  I will never again look at this Psalm the same.

Notice that the Psalm starts and ends with the same phrase:  “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”  Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines “steadfast” as “very devoted or loyal to a person, belief, or cause; not changing; immovable.”  God is devoted and loyal to us and his love for us doesn’t change, no matter what we do.  That’s certainly worth repeating again and again, as a constant reminder of the nature of the God we serve.

Lord in Heaven, we give thanks to you for your goodness and your steadfast love that endures forever.  During this Lenten season, help us to become as devoted and loyal to you as you are to us.  Amen.

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