• CEC Devotions Team

Lent Reflections @ CEC (4/5/20)


“But the man who is not afraid to admit everything that he sees to be wrong with himself, and yet recognizes that he may be the object of God’s love precisely because of his shortcomings, can begin to be sincere. His sincerity is based on confidence, not in his own illusions about himself, but in the endless, unfailing mercy of God.” – Thomas Merton



SCRIPTURE & DEVOTION: Psalm 118 , Psalm 118 vs 1-2, 19-29

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.”


The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.

Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

HOSANNA. God Saves.


I love that each Sabbath during Lent we pause to read from the Psalms. It is a chance for us to reframe and refocus our hearts on God's character, and remember His love and care for us - to soak it in.


The Psalmist praises God - calling everyone to praise the Lord because His love endures forever. Yet, the psalmist recalls when he found himself in need. In need of refuge. In need of rescue. In need of remembering that God is with him. And at each point of need, God was there. He recounts how God met each need, and He praises God with great celebration for His great provision. It is a familiar pattern in the Psalms - praise, recalling times of lament or lamenting or crying out to God, and choosing to praise God anyway. It is a pattern that brings comfort as we encounter struggles and hardships of every kind.


My personal favorite verse in the Psalm is vs. 5: "When hard-pressed, I cried to the Lord and he brought me into a spacious place." There is a similar verse in Psalm 18: 19 - "He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me."


Oh we should ponder those words for a long time.


The words at the end of this Psalm are the inspiration for the words of the people on the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that donkey. We call it the triumphal entry, but it was really anything BUT triumphal by human standards. It certainly lacked the pomp and circumstance of Roman revelry after a significant victory. But for those who were there, it brought hope. And the cry from their hearts - "Lord, please save us. (Hosanna) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord"- is the same cry of the Psalmist who knew that he could put his hope and trust in a God whose love endures forever.


In this time of great need, where we are tempted to put our trust in people and things other than God, may we find Him to be our refuge and our rescuer. May we also call out "Hosanna, please save - blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" He came in the name of the Lord for each one of us.


Prayer:

Lord, the crowd was so hopeful that day. You allowed them to honor and praise You, but You knew what was coming. You the suffering You would endure. You also knew the people around You. You knew their shortcomings, just as you know mine. You did it anyway. We needed You then, and we need You now. Please continue Your work to transform us into Your image.

Karen Callis

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