Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself. - St. Peter Chrysologus
SCRIPTURE & DEVOTION: Psalm 22, (The Message)
Here in this great gathering for worship I have discovered this praise-life. And I’ll do what I promised right here in front of the God-worshipers. Down-and-outers sit at God’s table and eat their fill. Everyone on the hunt for God is here, praising him. “Live it up, from head to toe. Don’t ever quit!”
From the four corners of the earth people are coming to their senses, are running back to God. Long-lost families are falling on their faces before him. God has taken charge; from now on he has the last word.
All the power-mongers are before him —worshiping! All the poor and powerless, too —worshiping! Along with those who never got it together—worshiping!
Our children and their children will get in on this As the word is passed along from parent to child. Babies not yet conceived will hear the good news—that God does what he says.
Psalm 22 is a familiar Psalm to many believers because Jesus quoted the words from the beginning of the Psalm while he was on the cross – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
And for me, as I laid in the darkness of the hospital in December 2018, and I didn’t “feel” God, I wondered why. Why didn’t I feel the warm fuzzy of God’s peace and presence? Later, as I sat and prayed about this, I realized that I was in good company. If Jesus asked why, so could I.
This Psalm is also like many other of the Psalms. A question or a lament. A recitation of God’s past faithfulness. A decision to praise. How do we get to the place of praise? We see what God has done. We see who God is.
We live in the now and the not yet. God’s work to redeem and restore is happening now. I love how the message version gives a great picture of what God’s work is – to bring ALL people to Himself. Everyone giving praise to Him. I love this!
“Down and outers sit at God’s table and eat their fill. Everyone on the hunt for God is here praising Him." No matter who we are … people who are perceived as having power, poor, power-less – those who never got it together… worshiping!
Revelation talks about people from every tribe, every tongue, every nation worshiping before the throne of God. It's a picture that is hard for us to comprehend with our finite minds.
And at the very end of this Psalm … God has done it. The word means accomplished and some versions use the word "finished." God finished the work of redemption through the resurrection of Jesus. May we take time today to ponder what He has done.
Lord, as we ponder YOU during this season leading up to our celebration of Your resurrection, would You continue to draw us to Yourself and lead us ever deeper into awe and worship of You, the one true God.