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: Psalm 147
2nd Reading: Col 3:15-17
(Ps 147:3,7) "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.. Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving."
Yesterday we talked about the theme of "lament." We were encouraged to remember those things which have been particularly difficult in the last two years and bring before the Lord in prayer. Today we turn to the theme of thankfulness. Not only has life been difficult, but God has been present in the midst of those difficulties. Lament and thanksgiving because God is always present in our suffering... and because even our best moments are have shadows of brokenness while we live in a fallen world.
Psalm 147 encourages us to sing to the LORD with thanksgiving. There are several reasons for this. First, we have experienced God's grace binding up our wounds (v.3.) Also, God brings blessing in the material world (v.7-9), he restores his people (v.12-15), and he gives us his word in the Bible (v.19-20.) These are examples of the many ways in which God shows his goodness to us and in which we are called to respond in thankfulness.
Consider how you have seen God's goodness in the past two years:
- How has God brought restoration to some aspects of hardship that you may have experienced? Particularly those that you reflected on yesterday.
- How has God answered prayers for health, safety, friendship, etc.?
- How has God been working for renewal (in you and others) through difficult circumstances?
- How has God been revealing himself to you through his word in the midst of your challenges?
Again, we would love to hear your testimonies of thankfulness. We will have a time of sharing after breakfast this coming Sunday, from 9:00-10:00am on Sunday AM. We would also love to compile some of these responses in written form. Please send your notes of thankfulness to God to Nameun (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that others in the congregation can celebrate with you.
WEDNESDAY-CONTEXTUALIZE | Psalm 134
Consider ways that you can let the Psalm form your imagination, that you might share it with others. Perhaps you can journal about it, write poetry or prose, learn a song, create visual art, or reexpress it in ways that speak to your context. If you are planning to fellowship with other people this weekend, consider how you might share these imaginations with your community.
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.