Scripture: Psalm 115
Key verse: (1) “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.”
Reflection: On this Easter Monday, we give thanks for God’s amazing love seen in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. Although all of our Easter celebrations this year were different, I hope that each of you had an abiding sense of God’s great love for you and those you love as you celebrated the resurrection.
Today’s psalm is known as a Hallel psalm. The word Hallel means “praise” and it is the first part of the phrase Hallel-ujah which means “Praise the LORD! Psalms 113-118 are considered praise psalms. The themes in these psalms focus on giving praise to the LORD for God’s deliverance, sovereignty and power which is seen in the grace and compassion God shows to all those in need. Psalm 115 focuses on putting God at the center of our lives. We are reminded that the LORD is not like other gods who are idols made of wood, silver and stone. Our God is alive and present. Today we sing praise because He is Risen! Jesus is alive and continues to work in our world. He is at the center of our lives and to him we give glory.
We now enter Eastertide. This is a good time to remind ourselves that we live for the glory of God. This praise is not focused on our achievements, but on what God can do in and through us. We praise God for God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. We are grateful for God’s presence in our lives as we embrace God’s love more fully. Lent this year involved sacrifice for all of us. The time honored ways we have celebrated Easter in the past had to be abandoned because of COVID-19. And, yet we were all given more time to focus on the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I hope that you experienced a time of renewal in the midst of the unknown. And, now that the season of Lent is over, we have the opportunity to take what we have learned out into the world around us – even though we are still under stay-at-home orders. What are some ways you might continue to re-order your life so that the LORD remains at the center? How might you reach out to those you know who are alone or afraid? How might you be a better spouse, parent, son, daughter or friend in order that others might see the love of God? Pray for those on the margins of life, be kind and generous to all, especially those who need your help. Feed the hungry, house the homeless, tend to the sick giving thanks that our God is not made of wood, silver or stone. Jesus is alive! He is Risen! Hallelujah!
Prayer: Gracious God, we give thanks for your great love. Be with us today as we seek to live as people who belong to you. Help us tear down all the idols in our lives that keep us from giving praise to you. Remind us every day that “He has Risen!” Hallelujah! Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].