Devotional: April 28, 2021
"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118: 24
This simple sentence from Psalm 118 is often used as a call to worship. Why? It is simple, but yet profound. Here are few reasons why:
First, it encourages us to concentrate on the present. “This.. day” means today. Not yesterday or tomorrow, but today. The Psalmist calls us to live in the present moment, in the spirit of “not worrying about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have enough worries of its own.” (Matthew 6: 34)
Second, it affirms God as creator, not only of people and places and creatures, but of finite amounts of time. “This… day” refers to a 24-hour chunk of time. It reminds us that each day, including this very day, is a gift from the Lord.
Third, the Psalmist encourages us to make a positive decision about how we are going to view, and spend the day. We can use a single day complaining, or fighting, or sinning, or overworking. Or, we can spend that same day praising God. King David the Psalmist encourages us to make an active choice to praise God.
Fourth, this sentence of scripture recognizes that we are social creatures. That is why the second phrase begins with the words, “Let us…” The words do not reference the “imperial we”, ie. referring to oneself in the plural, out of an exaggerated, or a royal sense of importance. No! It means that our rejoicing, and our joy, is multiplied when we invite others to rejoice with us. God knows that with others, our rejoicing expands. It is this communal aspect of celebration and rejoicing which was lost to so many during the pandemic. God created us to fellowship with one another. Thankfully, we are now rejoicing together, as we worship with others.
We can always rejoice by ourselves. Yet the truth is that where two or more are gathered in His name, Christ is also with us. No matter the size of the group, the most important thing is that we do rejoice and are grateful for the day. A spirit of rejoicing is more important than raw numbers.
So… today at least… consider making “rejoicing” your aim and purpose. To bring and share joy towards God and others is a worthy goal for all of us.
Creator God, and Lord of all,
You were present before time began, and You created this world, and each one of us in it. May we treasure each and every day with which You have blessed us, in spite of the challenges and difficulties we may encounter. Help us to find reasons to rejoice, and to thank You for Your blessings and gifts. Remind us to be good stewards of all that all of our resources, including our time, and this particular day. I pray this prayer in the name of Your son, and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.