Psalm 118:1–2; 19–29 (NRSV)
Verse 1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!
Verse 2Let Israel say, "His steadfast love endures forever."
Verse 19Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
Verse 20This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
Verse 21I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
Verse 22The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
Verse 23This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Verse 24This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Verse 25Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!
Verse 26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.
Verse 27The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.
Verse 28You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.
Verse 29O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
It is remarkably easy to get trapped by the shadows of the past and the future. With regard to the past, we have anger about something that was done to us or we have guilt over something we did to someone else. With regard to the future, we tend to let our fears dominate our horizons. We get stuck in a “what if” way of thinking where we imagine dark scenarios about our health, our loved ones, or our nation.
Verse 24 reminds us of the importance of the present time: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Christ is alive and in our midst, reminding us that anger, guilt, or worry does not define us. Moreover, he declares to us that we are his beloved children—right now— and therefore freed from the captivity of the past or future.
Lord Jesus, we rejoice in this day. May your Word of forgiveness and love shape our hearts and minds as we move and breathe and live. Amen.