THE CALL | Matthew 26:36-38
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”
CONFESSION | Psalm 130 [ESV]
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.
ASSURANCE | Luke 24:1-6 [ESV]
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”
(If you're gathered in a group, you could read the following call and response.)
Christ is risen!
He is risen, indeed!
Day #63 “Make a joyful noise to the Lord”
First reading - Psalm 98
Second reading - Luke 1:46-55
Today's first reading, Psalm 98, is special to me personally on several levels. First of all, the psalm highlights singing and music as chief modes of praise for the people of God (v.1,4-6). By God's grace, music and singing has been a great love for me since teenage years. It should be noted here that even the inanimate creation will bring forth praise in its own way (v.7-8), but the gifts of music and singing are called forth from humankind, even if it sounds like joyful noise! (v.4,6). The Lord loves to receive praise from ALL His people, whether musically gifted or not.
A second reason for Psalm 98 being a personal favorite is it's shout out to brass (v.6a)! As a trumpet player, it is exciting for me to see my instrument called out by the Grand Conductor, both here and elsewhere in Scripture (cf.1 Cor 15:52, my favorite reference to this). An interesting quirk in my history as a Christian: when I came to Pittsburgh over 40 years ago, the Lord led me (and my wife Tracy, subsequently) to join a congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, which by conviction does not use instruments in worship, instead singing the psalms a capella and exclusively. Without delving into that theological issue, the Lord used this providence to develop a love for singing and for the psalms. Now that we are in the PCA, I can praise Him with both voice and trumpet, which brings great joy!
Enough about me- what does this psalm teach us? This is a salvation psalm, celebrating the redemption that the Lord accomplishes by His mighty strength (see v.1b and compare to Luke 1:51, another salvation song) and on behalf of His people Israel (v.3a). The motivation for His salvation is His steadfast love and faithfulness toward that people. As they respond in faith, the gospel is proclaimed, and the Lord makes this redemption known "in the sight of the nations"
(v.2), leading to this glorious outcome: "All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God" (v.3b). That is what is what is being celebrated here, as well as another truth that we already saw yesterday (Psalm 96:10,13): the Lord will come "to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity" (v.9). These truths sustained Israel in their worship under the old covenant; how much more should we marvel at the story of redemption and its glorious future consummation on this side of the Cross! Make a joyful noise! (Jim Partridge)
Praying Psalm 130:5
This week, we will use Psalm 130 as a prayer template that we move through progressively each day.
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;” (Psalm 129:4)
Take some time to meditate on a particular promise in God’s Word. How is this promise a comfort to you in present trials?
I believe in the God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary;
suffered under Pontius Pilate;
was crucified, dead, and buried;
he descended into hell;
the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the dead;
and the life everlasting. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 5:2,4-6 [ESV]
For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.