TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2022
The Rev. Colin Pritchard ’18
SCRIPTURE Psalm 34 1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD, and was saved from every trouble. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. 9 O fear the LORD, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want. 10 The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. 11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.
DEVOTIONAL In a season of protracted challenge, it can be hard to bless the Lord at all times. It is false to claim no anxiety or an absence of wanting the world to be different. The poetry of the Psalm may not have the specific application we may wish for on the days when we don’t know what to do next. While precision may be lacking, wisdom is abundant. What would it look like to magnify and exalt the Lord together, seeking the presence of the holy? Would it bring deliverance from all our fears? Or at least a step back from hopelessness? We can do that. What would it look like to cast our eyes toward our Savior? Perhaps it would bring radiant faces reflecting love and security. It these times of downcast glances and worried looks, we can be shining lights. Let us do that. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. As the body of Christ, we can choose to do the same. May it be so. Perhaps all we need to do to bless the Lord this day, and to choose hope for ourselves, is to praise, shine, and serve.
PRAYER In times of trouble, O Lord, our souls cry out. In each and every hour, O Lord, you hear our cries. In this hour, O Lord, hear us once again. Draw our eyes upward, our feet forward, and our hearts toward your sure and certain hope. Release the fears of those burdened in spirit and guide the steps of those who have an opportunity to shine. Amen.
A Reading from the holy Gospel according to John
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"I am going away and you will look for me,
but you will die in your sin.
Where I am going you cannot come."
So the Jews said,
"He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, 'Where I am going you cannot come.'
He said to them, "You belong to what is below,
I belong to what is above.
You belong to this world,
but I do not belong to this world.
That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins."
So they said to him, "Who are you?"
Jesus said to them, "What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world."
They did not realize that he was speaking to them.
So Jesus said to them,
"When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me.
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him."
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.
The Gospel of the Lord
Unlike Matthew, Mark, and Luke, John often has Jesus involved in long, profound dialogues with unbelievers and authorities, a device John used to articulate his community's understanding of who Jesus is i the face of persecution from the Jews and Romans alike. In today's reading, Jesus speaks of the revelation that is to come when he is lifted up, or crucified.
* Spend some time with the passage, "The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone." (John 8:29) Become aware of God's nearness and love for you.
* Resolve to let a special person in your life know that you care about him or her.