WEEKEND FEAST LITURGY
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Engage with our Mission Partners
As you contemplate Psalm 123 and seek to bear the burdens of life and turn the other cheek to those who might harm you, consider praying for City Reformed's local and global mission partners. Pray for their long-suffering and for those they minister with. Pray for the global church as they bear the indignation of the world in the name of Christ.
Read Psalm 35
2nd Reading: Psalm 36
Psalm 35:27 “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore,
“Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
This is a psalm of David where David asks for justice from God against those who were once his allies. There is perhaps no sting so great as the betrayal of a friend. David’s words about these people are intimate:
But I, when they were sick--
I wore sackcloth;
I afflicted myself with fasting;
I prayed with head bowed on my chest.
I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;
as one who laments his mother,
I bowed down in mourning.
To have an ally who you not only trust, but who you pray for, fast for, afflict yourself for, grieve for, and to have that friend turn against you produces a unique heartache. In the case of David these allies have turned against him in violence, so he asks the Lord to be his savior, deliverer, and avenger.
The imprecation (curses) on these enemies may be hard for us to hear today, especially since Jesus says, “Bless those who curse you” (Mt. 5:43). Yet we must draw some distinctions. First, David asks for vengeance from the Lord (v.24), rather than taking vengeance into his own hands. Second, David asks for the Lord to bring justice (vv.19-21). Third, David is in a different position than us as the potentate of the theocratic nation of Israel. David reigns as God’s appointed king, so it is clearer who his enemies are than our enemies.
Lastly, Jesus does shows us a different way of kingly rule and he does it through wearing a crown of thorns. The psalm ends, “Great is the Lord who delights in the welfare of his servant.” Even if your friend betrays you, the Lord delights in your welfare. You have one who will not leave you or forsake you. His not kind-of interested in your welfare, he delights in your good. More than this, we have Jesus who gave himself for us, who suffered the greatest injustice, who knows betrayal, and still he calls us friend.
THE CALL | Lamentations 3:25 [ESV]
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
CONFESSION | Lamentations 3:28–30 [ESV]
The phrase, Kyrie eleison, simply means "Lord have mercy" and has been used by the Church for centuries, including by Reformers like John Calvin as a congregational refrain during worship. We often use it to ask for the forgiveness of personal sin, but it is just as appropriate to call upon God's saving mercy as we experience the sinful effects of others upon us. Here we will use it as such. You can speak it, or you can sing it:
~Kyrie eleison [sheet music]~
Let him sit alone in silence
when it is laid on him;
let him put his mouth in the dust--
there may yet be hope;
let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,
and let him be filled with insults.
ASSURANCE | Lamentations 3:28–30 [ESV]
For the Lord will not
cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not afflict from his heart
or grieve the children of men.
SING | Doxology [sheet music]
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Read Psalm 34
2nd Reading: 1 Peter 3:10-12
Psalm 34:4-5 “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”
This is a psalm for the crushed in spirit, the brokenhearted, and the poor man who cries. Perhaps this psalm is familiar to you because it is a psalm we often sing together in church. The psalmist gives voice to those who have been humbled to the dust. This is a psalm of thanksgiving, thankfulness that the Lord (v.17) “delivers them out of all their troubles.”
The language of this psalm is gentle and kind. It begins in vv.1-3 with praise, but quickly moves to the needs and distresses of the saints. The image we find in vv.4-5 are of a congregation of people looking to God for help. They seek the Lord and he delivers. As they look to him, their faces shine with the radiance of the reflection of God’s glory. They have no shame.
Perhaps you have never felt this radiance before, this freedom from shame and deliverance from trouble? The call of the palmist is this: “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” (v.8). When our little children won’t eat their food, we ask them to just taste it. Taste it and you may find you like it.
There is nothing that tastes so sweet as redemption, for the poor man to laugh, for the crushed in spirit to be made whole, for the brokenhearted to be mended, for the hungry to be filled. Taste and see how good is our God.
FRIDAY-MEMORIZE | Psalm 123
- Spend time memorizing the words of the Psalm as best you can -
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,
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
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.