Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God,
and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God, I will extol you.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Reflection – Kevin Washburn
Bookends are helpful gadgets. On my desk, I have a set that features, on each side, one hemisphere of the human brain on a pile of books. This particular set of bookends holds the tomes that are the most important for my current work. They indicate, figuratively, the start and end of relevant knowledge; between them lie important truths that should inform my thinking and actions.
Psalm 118 features a beautiful set of bookends, both making the same claim: the love of God endures forever. The psalmist is telling us to start there and end there. His love endures forever.
Between these bookends we find important truths that should inform our thinking and practice. First, we see the importance of worship. In fact, the psalmist uses the imperative, commanding the gates to be open so that grateful worship can take place.
Second, we are reminded that the beauty of Christ was not what the “builders” saw. However, despite their blindness, Jesus is the stone that holds together the entire foundation. This is marvelous and something to celebrate!
Third, because God blesses us and shines His light on us, we should worship with a full heart and with a fulness of expression. Do not hold back, the psalmist tells us. Jesus is the cornerstone. Get to place of worship and go wild with reverence and celebration. After all, remember, His love endures forever!
Thankfully, the need to sacrifice animals as an act of worship ended on Good Friday. However, the truths between the bookends remain. Do I approach Sundays from a fullness of heart? Do I worship with abandon? Would I demand that the doors be open so that I could worship?
I should. Because His love endures forever!