Forty Days of Prayer March 30
Saturday of Holy Week is a bit strange in the scriptures. Nothing happens in the Gospels. Jesus is laid in the tomb before sundown on Friday and nobody goes to the tomb on the Sabbath day of Saturday. It is not until Sunday morning when everything in life and the world begins to change. That is like life very often where incredible things happen and in between life is very quiet. The great thing about this week is the day of great sorrow is ultimately followed by great joy in the resurrection and with the Lord’s presence. This made me think of many peoples favorite Psalm, the 23rd Psalm.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalms 23:1-6)
This Psalm starts out with green pastures, quiet waters and the paths of the Lord. Everything is good and right with the world. The Lord, He is good, He is my shepherd. Then come the valleys of life. They are full of shadows, darkness and death. The blessing in this section of the Psalm is that God becomes more personal. God is no longer in the third person, but second person YOU. This psalm reminds us that it is not often till tougher, darker days that we appreciate God as much as we should.
Ultimately this Psalm brings David to dining and dwelling in the house of God forever. An overflowing cup reminds us of the generosity of God. All of Jesus’ words and actions of yesterday remind me of that same generosity. Tomorrow there is the sense of the same joy when the disciples see Jesus risen from the grave on Easter. One last thing to remember when you pray, God never changes. Life changes for all of us and we have quiet boring periods, tough sad days, and some days that we could hardly imagine anything better. You also change. Prayer is what grabs a hold onto God and you can pull with all your might. The blessing of prayer is not that we change God to help us. In Jesus we find that God cares more about us than we can ever know. The blessing of prayer is that we are drawn closer to Him every day.
In Christ’s Service, Pastor Dave
Jesus you are the Good Shepherd. You have told us that and you even said you give your life for your sheep. Yesterday we remembered how you did that. Thank you. Thank you that we can pray directly to You and that you for quiet days and special days. Remind us that every day is blessed with your presence. Amen.