In today’s reading, we hear that God is not only our strength, but also our song. Do you hear the songs of victory in the camp of the righteous? the psalmist seems to ask. Singing is an appropriate response to salvation. God has turned the tide. Though God tests us, we are not destroyed. In response, we gratefully sing our praise. Today Christians all across the world join in celebration of our risen Savior. The price has been paid. Our sins are forgiven. New life is ours through Jesus Christ’s work on the cross. Do we find ourselves today in the joyous throng singing our praises to our Lord? Then we sing with all our heart. It is right to rejoice and give thanks.

Perhaps we find ourselves on the edges of the throng, aware that we have forgotten how to sing. There are times when through the hardness of life we lose sight of what the Lord has done for us. The days of joy and laughter, of hope and gladness all seem a strangely faint memory. If we have forgotten how to sing, we can take heart. God’s mercy is wide enough for us too. The Lord is our strength, helping us do the next right thing in this long journey toward heaven. God is also our song. We were not made for lives of quiet desperation. Instead we are meant to sing a song of God’s salvation and redemption from now throughout all eternity.

When we have forgotten how to sing, how do we find our voice again? We remember what we have been given through the Cross—new life with God. Then we can lift our voice in praise. Our vocal cords may be a little rusty from lack of use. No matter. Sing anyway. God provides the song.

Risen Savior, we celebrate you today. Your breathtaking gift of redemption can stir even vocal cords that have forgotten how to sing. Hallelujah! Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 13:1-17, 31-35

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Lectionary Week
April 6–12, 2020
Scripture Overview

Although we anticipate the celebration of Easter, this week’s readings remind us to slow down and walk through the suffering of Jesus. If we fail to understand why he has to die, then we fail to grasp fully the power of his resurrection. Monday’s passage in Isaiah anticipates the Messiah, the Anointed One, coming to bring justice to the nations. Tuesday’s Psalm laments that sometimes the righteous are met with scorn. The Hebrews passage for Wednesday declares that Christ knows of the suffering that awaits him, yet he endures it because of the joy to come. On Thursday, the reading in John shows us that even when facing death, Jesus continues to model selfless love. Friday brings pain and rejection, but Sunday is the greatest day in human history. He is risen indeed!

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read John 13:1-7, 31b-35. Consider someone who has disappointed, hurt, or betrayed you whom God might be calling you to love. How could a posture of service help you act in a loving way even if you cannot feel affection for this person?
Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. How does this description of a suffering servant help you more fully understand Jesus’ suffering on the cross?
Read Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24. When has grief felt like mercy? When has noticing you are alive felt like a miracle?
Read Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24. Recall a time you forgot how to sing God’s praises despite the joy around you. How did God provide the song?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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