Ash Wednesday (2/17/21) – Pity – Psalm 51
Throughout Lent, we will examine the psalms for each Sunday. We’ll use these for devotions, prayers, songs. David’s Penitential Psalm arises out of his great sin with Bathsheba. He is convicted by Nathan’s confrontation. David makes no excuse. He confesses his guilt. He pleads that God would not withdraw from him, but forgive and renew him. True mercy is not to be cast out, but that God would look on us with favor. Christ bore the full penalty of our sin so we would be saved.
February 21, 2021 – Path – Psalm 25:1-10
Having been forgiven for the sins of our youth, we pray that God would guide us on His path for life. In the Gospel, Jesus overcomes temptation for us. We now ask for wisdom and fortitude to walk in His ways. V.4 God must teach us and lead us V.10 describes the path: full of steadfast love and faithfulness.
February 28, 2021 – Proclaim – Psalm 22:22-31
In the Gospel, Peter confesses Jesus to be the Christ. The Psalm begins, “I will tell of your name to my brothers…” (22) This psalm is better known as a Holy Week psalm – Jesus prays this on the cross: “Why have you forsaken me?” The latter half describes our response to His great sacrifice. We shall “proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn.” (31)
March 7, 2021 – Precepts – Psalm 19
In the Gospel, Jesus cleanses the temple out of zeal for the Word. David describes the Lord’s precepts in vv.7-9 as “perfect, sure, right, pure, clean and true.” We are called to desire them more than gold. 12-14 focus on our inner life. Obedience is not just outward, but flows from the heart.
March 14, 2021 – Praise – Psalm 107:1-9
In the Gospel, Jesus shows Nicodemus the path of life. Salvation belongs to those who are born again. The psalmist praises God for this new life. Despite being lost, we now are redeemed. “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”
March 21, 2021 – Ponder – Psalm 119:9-16
In the Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples a third time that He must suffer and die. They had to be reminded of His mission over and over again. The psalmist tells us that it’s not just enough to know the Word, but instead we must ponder it that it might guide us. “Store up,” “Delight,” “Meditate,” “Not Forget” – these are our reaction to Christ and His Word.
April 1, 2021 (Maundy Thursday) – Pledge – Psalm 116:12-19
The Psalm for Maundy Thursday is the psalm we sing for the offertory. Having lifted “the cup of salvation,” we pledge to fulfill our vows to the Lord. Holy Communion is Christ’s Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins. It works in us salvation, and a response to a new life.
April 2, 2021 (Good Friday) – Passion – Psalm 22:1-19
We come back to Psalm 22 to hear Christ’s anguish. It is He who was forsaken for us. See the great weight of sin and its darkness. Christ bore these all for us. He groans, is scorned, is mocked, and dies. When we feel forsaken, we look to the cross. This is our assurance that God looks upon us with His favor for the sake of Christ.
April 4, 2021 (Easter) – An Easter Psalm of Victory – Psalm 118:15-29
Glad songs that the Lord has done valiantly! The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone. Because Jesus is risen, “I shall not die, but live” (17) We are now called to “recount the deeds of the Lord.” In this psalm, the response to God’s valiant work is one of praise, adoration, and pure joy. This is our Easter response!