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Sunday, April 24, 2022
Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 118:1–2, 14–24
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.
There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me severely,
but he did not give me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
There is an interesting narrative that weaves its way through these verses. The people of Israel are giving thanks for victory in battle. Their leader, perhaps even the king, is seeking entrance to the temple to offer gratitude for what God has done.
While honoring this original story line, it has been transformed, in our Christian experience, by the reading of verses of this psalm on Easter and on Sundays in the Eastertide season. The great victory has become God’s triumph over death through Jesus’ resurrection.
As followers of Jesus, we claim one verse in particular: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” Our brother and our Savior Jesus, rejected by civic and religious leaders, has become our cornerstone. “This is the day which God has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Thank you, God, for the rich gift of the psalms. I am grateful for their original setting in the experience of my spiritual ancestors. I thank you especially for our risen Lord, the cornerstone of our faith, whom we have claimed in these lines of the psalm. Alleluia! Amen.
Written by Jeffrey Doane, Parish Associate
Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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