THE CALL | Mark 11:7-10
And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
O God, what house could contain you, that you should dwell there? All of creation is not vast enough. And yet you desire for your Spirit to make its home in our hearts. Forgive us that we so often shutter our hearts to you. For the sake of your Son, the greater Son of David, do not turn your face away. Clothe us in your righteousness and clothe our adversary in shame; let him not hinder your coming. Open our hearts to welcome you in as our King! Cause us to shout for joy for your salvation, yours alone, we pray.
ASSURANCE | Hebrews 9:11-12
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
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
First reading: Psalm 113
Second reading: 1 Tim 5:1-2
Psalm 113 focuses on two aspects of God that can seem contradictory to us: God is “seated on high” (in theological terms, God is “transcendant”), and yet also God “raises the poor from the dust,” and “lifts the needy,” that is, he is near to us (in theological terms, he is “immanent.”) Isaiah 57:15 puts it this way: “Thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
When we come to God in prayer and worship, we should meditate on both aspects. We should come to him in awe and a type of “fear” of God as the Holy One, but we also should be confident that he loves us as a father and is near to those who come to him humbly. Even if our own earthly father was not too much like this, we can envision a father who we know to be extremely strong and in control, but who also wants to sit with his children tenderly and patiently.
Verse 9 of Psalm 113 uses a term that may make us uncomfortable: “He gives the barren woman a home.” Our culture is somewhat schizophrenic when it comes to children. On one hand, defining women’s calling entirely in terms of having children is seen as archaic, and talking of a “barren woman” seems insulting. At the same time, many people (men and women) long to have children and suffer deeply if they cannot, for some reason or other.
The Bible tells us that God’s church, his people, are a real family, and that all of us who are in Christ have a home there. We are “brothers and sisters” with “fathers and mothers” in the church. If you are lonely and/or childless, do you take seriously the call to see the children of the church as members of your own family, whom we all make a vow at a child’s baptism to help raise? If you have a family at present, do you go the extra mile to include others in the church to interact with your children? God is greatly concerned to give every one of us a “home” with him; if you are lonely or unfulfilled, take that to God your Father, and also reach out to include those around you in your family, no matter what walk of life you are in. (Dave Snoke)
MONDAY-LECTIO DIVINA | Psalm 132
We memorize things we value. The brain has an incredible ability to remove information that we don’t need. As we make an effort to memorize the Psalms, the beginning of each week seeks to establish the value of God's Word in our hearts before we view it as information to be remembered. Read more about the Lectio Divina HERE.
Revelation 21:3 [ESV]
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
(If you are in a group, you can end with the following call and response:)
The Spirit and the Bride say,
And let the one who hears say,
And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.
(based on Revelation 22:17,20-21)
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.