As Psalm 134 closes our time in the Psalms of Ascents, we can note the spiritual journey we have traveled. Derek Kidner points out in his commentary that "The Songs of Ascents, which began in the alien surroundings of Meschech and Kedar (Ps. 120), end fittingly on the note of serving God 'day and night within his temple'." 1 Chronicles 9:33 says that the temple singers were on duty both day and night, and while the original context of Psalm 134 may have been for the temple priests, we are all invited to participate with Christ in worship in the spirit of endless song. As we anticipate the Paschal Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) and Easter Sunday, let us worship with anticipation of God's blessing. (Daniel Snoke)
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts!
We lift them up to the Lord!
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give Him thanks and praise!
CONFESSION OF FAITH
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will 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 body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
MEDITATION | Hebrews 2:10–13
"For it was fitting that he [Christ], for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying,
“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”
“I will put my trust in him.”
SING Psalm 134 (to the tune of the Doxology)
[Original lyrics by Lambertus J. Lamberts (1928), edited by Daniel J Snoke (2022)]
Come bless the LORD with one accord
You faithful servants of the LORD
Who in his house do stand by night
And praise him there with all your might
Lift up your hands and bless his name
From Zion may his blessings reign
The LORD who heav’n and earth has made
Bless you and keep you all your days
Read Lamentations 3:1-33
During our tour of the psalms we have read many which were characterized as “psalms of lament.” A lament is an expression of grief or sorrow. Often that describes a sorrow for our own sin. Other times it expresses suffering which is not directly related to anything we have done. Today we shift our attention away from the psalms as we read from the longest lament in the Bible. The book of Lamentations is five chapters of sorrow with a little hope sprinkled in. Attributed to the prophet Jeremiah it describes the sorrow that God’s people felt after the destruction of Jerusalem. The long series of grief statements throughout the book helps us to see the ways in which we can name our grief and offer it to God.
Modern people are quick to try to bury their painful experiences and move directly to something happier. The bible shows us that healing comes through honestly addressing the things that are painful and then located them in relationship to God’s faithfulness. For example, Jeremiah continually remembered his affliction (Lam 3:16-20.) But even this lament contains words of hope. We are reminded that the “steadfast love of the Lord never ceases (Lam 3:22-24.) We do not grieve as if we have not hope, but our grief always occurs under the umbrella of God’s steadfast love.
1.)In what ways did you experience grief during the last two years?
2.) What were things that were lost?
3.)What are ways in which you experienced relational pain?
4.)How did you feel the grind of fear and anxiety?
We would love to hear from you about this. On Sunday, April 17, we will be sharing some of our accounts of grief during our Easter Breakfast. We will also be collecting stories for a booklet of memories. If you would like to share your story with others, please send it to Nameun Cho (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
TUESDAY-READ | Psalm 134
Spend time understanding and memorizing the outline of the Psalm, taking special note of the flow or transition points. If you are in a group, discuss the main themes and emphasis together.
SING: Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father
And to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be world without end
Many Christians throughout history have found it helpful to dedicate extra time for prayer, fasting, singing, and works of mercy during the week before Easter Sunday. As you anticipate remembering the saving work of Christ this weekend, here are a few ways you might do that:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever,
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.