April 13, 2011

Give thanks to the LORD,

For he is good.  His mercy endures for ever. (Ps 118.1)

I kind of feel bad for Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29. Does it ever get read? Does anyone choose to read the portion of Psalm 118 assigned for the Liturgy of the Palms when All glory, laud, and honor is such a good hymn that only fits in that particular spot in that particular liturgy for that particular day?  I've never heard it.  Even during those early services, you know the one's where "we don't sing", I've never heard a congregation break in to Psalm 118 at 7:35 in the morning on Palm Sunday.

It should get read just for the first two verses, but unless it gets utilized on Palm Sunday, verses 1 and 2 of Psalm 118 are never read in the usual Sunday Lectionary, and it is quite a shame.  Read this aloud:

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;*
His mercy endures for ever.

Let Israel now proclaim,*
"His mercy endures for ever."

Would that we believed that God's mercy endured for ever!  But I'm pretty convinced that we don't really believe that.  We think that at some point, God will lose patience with us, throw up his hands, and say "I quit."  But that's not the case.  God's pursuit of us is never ending.  Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the Prophets, the list goes on and on as God strives to change our foolish hearts, to turn our stiffed necks around.  He is good. His mercy endures for ever.

As Jesus rides in to Jerusalem this coming Sunday, as your thoughts turn to the Last Week, as your liturgy moves from shouts of "Hosanna" to "Crucify him", as that good old fashioned Holy Week guilt begins to creep up upon you, please, please, please remember that God's mercy is everlasting.

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