Bethlehem Lutheran Church
This past week, someone asked me if I could include a brief note of encouragement, especially for those of you who have been hunkered down, feeling isolated, etc. And that probably includes most of us! So, here is just a brief word of encouragement
“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)
We’ve all heard that verse before. We have probably all wondered if it really applied to “this” day. How can I rejoice and be glad when my spouse is in the hospital and I can’t see him and have no idea what’s going on? How can I rejoice and be glad when I’m not getting a paycheck? How can I rejoice and be glad when my kids are driving me out of my mind and I don’t know how to be a teacher? How can I rejoice and be glad when it feels like everyone has forgotten about me? How can I rejoice and be glad when the news is so pessimistic? How can I rejoice and be glad when I’m anxious or fearful or when my life and this world is so topsy turvy? I’m with you.
But have you been able to notice any unique blessings and good in this topsy turvy world, lately? Things that probably wouldn’t be unless things were so topsy turvy? I have. I bet you have, too. There have been more families and people walking outside in front of my house than ever before. Families are spending more quality time together. The world suddenly no longer revolves around sports and extra-curricular activities. Many people don’t seem as rushed. There is less traffic. I bet you can come up with some, too. And I’d like to hear about them. Call or email me and we’ll publish a list for the benefit of everyone.
Goodness and blessings don’t cease in the midst of trouble because the God who gives goodness and blessings still lives and reigns. He is the God who works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28) and that means you.
But back to our verse in Psalm 118. In Hebrew, “this” usually refers to something specific in the context of a passage. Take a look at what comes before this verse: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.” In Acts 4:10–12, the Apostle Peter applies this passage to the death and resurrection of Jesus. And that means “this day” refers to the day of the resurrection of Jesus. Now, that’s a day to rejoice and be glad in. And it is because of “this day” that we can find joy and gladness in any and every other day. No matter what is happening in our lives and in the world around us, we joyfully and confidently confess, “Christ is risen!” He lives and reigns still today to bring his goodness and blessings to his people in the midst of trouble, trials, and tribulation—no matter what—guaranteed. That means because of “this day,” the day of resurrection, we have joy, gladness, and hope even today because “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore” (Hebrews 13:8).