I can only imagine what that donkey was thinking on that first Palm Sunday! To be chosen by Jesus to carry him into Jerusalem! People waving palm branches and shouts of “Hosanna” filling the air! Perhaps the donkey was unaware of the important role he played in Jesus’ life that day. A reminder that even beyond Palm Sunday, God uses even the smallest of creatures to carry out God’s purposes.
Psalm 33 for today says “sing joyfully” and “sing to him” a new song. Well, we may not all be singers (just kidding), but new songs can be seen to be every generation’s experience of the goodness of God. What is your experience of God’s goodness? Lots to think about!
When I arrived at church this morning, the birds in the tree near the front door were welcoming me with song! Moving through my morning ritual of ‘opening’ the church, when I started up the stairs to the sanctuary, I noticed abundant light streaming through the doors. I thought, “Who left the lights on?” It was not that at all, but abundant sunlight streaming through the sanctuary, the colors of the stained glass windows dancing across the pews! I hope in some way today, you were welcomed in a kind way!
At times, it may seem as though life is a contest: us versus the world. No matter how much we accomplish, no matter how often our actions are right, no matter how many people we help, no matter how much love we show, life keeps coming at us like a ping pong ball on steroids. Like David in Psalm 7, my Lent reading for today, we should not lose ourselves in despair; rather, we should seek refuge in God. There, we will feel safe and secure. We all need that place.
We can easily walk through a day in our lives and not see things clearly. For many reasons. Usually, it does not dawn on us until long after the fact, when our eyes are open. Examples: “Oh, that’s what she meant!” Or “Oh, I get it now! I see!” It usually goes deeper than solving an algebra problem! If we take our time and focus on the matter at hand, become active listeners, and have a willingness to share our understanding and “sight” with others, then I believe we will be able to understand and “see” more cleraly.
As much as I love days like yesterday, when the sunshine is abundant and the temps warm, I do not mind the rain. Especially a gentle rain. Comforting. Relaxing. In Psalm 33, verse 5b, it says, “…the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.” God’s love is everywhere, true; and God’s beauty shines even on rainy days. So grab an umbrella and go see for yourself.
We need hope. I recently experienced even more vision loss. There is nothing that can be done about it. So now what? Like before, with my previous diagnosis, I did not lose hope. Oh, I am not saying I have my moments when I cry out; but I did not want to live my days being negative every single day. In the future, there may be a helpful discovery regarding the optic nerve. But not today. Yet, I remain hopeful.
Psalm 88, my reading in Lent for today, is super negative. There is nothing from the Psalmist that is hopeful or positive. I am not lingering in that space today. I choose hope. If you are experiencing a low moment or a dark space, don’t give up. You, too, can choose hope.
I am not in any particular trouble today; nor am I having any particular difficulty. But my Psalm reading today is Psalm 11, where I am again reminded, that “the Lord is my refuge” (vs 1), no matter what the situation. I find comfort knowing that God is in the struggle with me, guiding me and holding me up. When my ‘foundation is shaking’, God is still in control. And in a world of chaos, for our time right now, I am grateful.
We survived DST and now we will be living out the last full week of winter! Not much of a winter, it seems. If you attended the Philadelphia Flower Show or the Lehigh Valley Flower Show, you would have seen beautiful flowers everywhere! Ready! Set! Come on Spring!
Things come up in our lives that can set us back for a minute. When we regain our composure and regather our thoughts, we recognize that God is with us. The situation may not be easily or immediately fixed, but it is comforting to know that in the midst of trouble or turbulence or in the presence of our enemies, that God is near.
We set up a space in our church library with pop fidgets, mediation prayers, a prayer shawl, prayer stones, etc.; a welcoming space offering a sense of peace and quiet. A space that is available if you are feeling anxious or if you just ‘need a moment’. Sometimes when we come to church, we are not always able to leave our anxieties or troubles at home.
My Psalm reading today is Psalm 80, where verse 19 says: Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.