Going Deeper 4-17-19

The Psalm for Easter Sunday...
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.

Psalm 118 is the sixth in a series of Psalms called the "Egyptian Hallels."  As the name suggests, these expressions of praise recall and reflect on God's dramatic and powerful rescue of their ancestors from abusive slavery in Egypt.  They were used as part of the Passover celebrations throughout the generations, and continue to be used in that context to this day.

For Christians, we recognize a close tie between the Passover rescue from slavery to the Egyptians and our own being rescued from slavery to sin and death.  Both involved the blood of a lamb.  Remember John the Baptizer's proclamation: "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"  We are a couple of days away from remembering the death (and resurrection) of the Lamb of God.

Remembering has always been a vital part of our lives as God's children.  For those of Jewish faith, their concept of remembering was different than what we are used to.  They traditionally would seek to re-experience the event as if they were there as it happened.  They seek to reconnect with what happened when God went to such extraordinary efforts to save them.

We do well to remember in the same way.  That is what Holy Week is supposed to be all about.  Maundy Thursday's Seder Meal reconnects us with the setting in which Jesus established the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  During the Good Friday Tenebrae (8:00 p.m.) we will seek to walk with Jesus and His followers during His final hours, and Sunday we will remember how the wonderful story ends!

I urge you to remember to remember!!

With You in His Story,
Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."