Rejoice All Day
We are spending all week in this Psalm, and for good reason. Psalm 89 is one of the longer Psalms, the last Psalm in Book III of the Psalter, and considered by most to be a lament over the loss of the Davidic Monarchy. This is a Psalm written in exile, when the hope of the people was dashed by the invading Babylonian empire.
Yet it was in the midst of this devastation that the Psalmist writes of ‘hessed,’ the Hebrew word often translated as “Steadfast love.” In this Psalm, it is used six different times. The first 30 verses serve as a reminder of God’s promises to David. There is a turn that is coming. It will move from celebration for what God has done to lament over how the people have failed. But we’re not there yet. Today, God is moving. In today’s reading, we are reminded that true happiness and strength come from God.
Happy are those who celebrate with God! Here, a little over halfway through our Lenten journey, we can be reminded of this truth. Yes, Lent is a time for reflection, repentance, and taking seriously the sin of the world. This passage however, is a reminder that even in the most difficult of times, we can find happiness in giving thanks. Mindset is a powerful thing – it may not cure all anxiety or depression, but celebration surely is good medicine for the wary.
Write down “Rejoice in God’s name all day long.” Put it in your wallet. Put it on a post-it on your computer. Fix it to your refrigerator. Try earnestly today to rejoice in God all day long. Even if you are in the midst of an exile, wondering if God is truly present. Rejoice in God all day long, and see if you are uplifted.
Robb McCoy is the pastor of Two Rivers UMC in Rock Island, Illinois; and a producer of the Pulpit Fiction Podcast.
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