The psalmist exclaims: “You . . . clothed me with gladness” so that “my glory may sing your praise” (esv). God clothes sinners with gladness to sing praise to God because of God’s own glorious grace shining through us.

The psalm’s richness resides in its focus on the reality of our absolute dependence upon God for life and salvation. Verse 1 expresses this concept by using the metaphor of drawing up water from a well. Imagine this: We as human beings are so completely incapable of attaining our own salvation that apart from the miracle of God’s grace freely given to us, we have as much chance of rescuing and redeeming ourselves as water does of drawing itself up out of a well! This psalm provides a crucial reminder for those of us living in a culture of individualism and self-reliance that without the grace of God, we are without hope in the world and powerless against the pervasive pull of sin and death.

The theme of complete dependence on God continues as the psalmist recalls instances of God’s saving action in his life. On the basis of God’s gracious initiative and saving power, the psalmist cries out to the Lord, seeking anew God’s mercy and help. This psalm teaches that our gladness is a result of God’s grace, which leads us to praise God’s glory as it is displayed in our lives through God's faithfulness and lovingkindness.

Triune God, renew in us a feeling of complete dependence on you, so that in every endeavor of our life we can rest in the comfort and peace of your gracious gospel and divine provision. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 21:1-19

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Lectionary Week
April 29—May 5, 2019
Scripture Overview

Saul is one of the primary obstacles to the early spread of Christianity. The death and resurrection of Jesus does not fit his paradigm for the Messiah, so it cannot be true. It takes a miraculous intervention by Christ himself to change his mind. Psalm 30 reminds us that the light will always chase the darkness. We experience true suffering and true loss, but God can turn our mourning into dancing in God’s own timing. In Revelation, John takes us to the throne room of God, where angels and creatures proclaim the glory of the Lamb of God who has defeated death and reigns forever. Returning to the Gospel of John, we read more about Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances, which here include a seaside breakfast and a quiz for Peter.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Acts 9:1-20. Jesus’ resurrection calls us to an embodied faith. How do you bear the gospel?
Read Psalm 30. Recall a specific time when you depended on God.
Read Revelation 5:11-14. Have you ever worshiped the Lamb with your whole body? What keeps you from falling down to worship God?
Read John 21:1-19. The author reminds us that Jesus calls us to be shepherds and sheep. Which role do you most often fill? How can you take on a new leadership role or allow others to lead you?

Respond by posting a prayer.

This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”

Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.