Lent Devotion: April 20th
April 20, 2019
By Kate Meyer
Praise for God’s Care for Jerusalem
1 Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
6 The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.
8 He covers the heavens with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He gives to the animals their food,
and to the young ravens when they cry.
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;[a]
11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
14 He grants peace[b] within your borders;
he fills you with the finest of wheat.
15 He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down hail like crumbs—
who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his ordinances.
Praise the Lord!
The tattoo on my wrist is a dumbbell with the word abide written on the bar. The word, written in Greek, is also the only part of the tattoo comprised of color: purple and green.
There is no shortage of scriptural images for finding our strength in God, so I won’t take space here to elaborate on the layers of that part of the tattoo. The word abide is also commonplace in the New Testament, but, for the purposes of my tattoo, the full meaning of it cannot be understood without also looking at the color choice.
In the liturgical calendar, purple occurs during Advent and Lent. The color is tied to words such as mourning, waiting, and reflecting. Green, alternatively, is liturgically used to represent ordinary time, as well as renewal and new life.
So, when I look at my wrist, I am reminded to abide with God in times of mourning and in ordinary times. When things are great, neutral, or terrible. But, it is also a reminder that the ordinary times will come again; though the times of mourning and waiting appear to far outweigh the rest, we have strength to endure if we but abide.
Abide with God always. Even on this Holy Saturday, this in-between time, trust in God’s steadfast love that does not end in mourning. Rather, God’s steadfast love always, yes always, carries us through to new life. Abide with God and see.
Prayer: In all of my in-between times, God, I pray you strengthen me to but abide in trust of your steadfast love. May I honor you by holding fast and resting in the assured hope of redemption. Amen.
Kate Meyer is the counseling services manager of Hospice of Holland in Holland, Michigan. She is writer, speaker, and minister. You can read more about her work at http://www.katejmeyer.com.