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The second half of our psalm takes a sharp turn from praising God with a new song and dancing to executing vengeance, punishment, and judgment. Verse 6 tells us to have praise of God in our throats and a two-edged sword in our hands. The vengeance, punishment, and judgment we...
A Guided Meditation: Get comfortable and relax. Take several deep breaths, and rest between each of these suggestions: Remember when God has been gracious to you. Remember the saints that showed you the way of faith. Remember when you have found rest from the weariness of life. How often do you praise God with a loud voice and dance in God’s presence? Who in your life needs to hear Jesus’ offer of rest? To whom do you need to show the way to faith? Give thanks to God for your “sword with two mouths.”
We move forward in the story of Moses to the climax in Egypt, the tenth plague. God tells the Israelites to prepare for the terrible night to come and establishes the feast of Passover. It is to be an eternal reminder of what God has done for the people. The psalmist praises God for faithfulness and victory, including overthrowing those who would oppress them. Egypt is not mentioned specifically, yet the Passover represents just such a situation. Paul echoes Jesus in summarizing much of the Law in one simple commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus provides practical teaching on handling disagreements. Our first responsibility is to go to the other party privately and then include others only as necessary. Gossip and social media are not the ways to handle our disputes.
Read Exodus 12:1-14. How has the story of Passover shaped your faith?
Read Psalm 149. How has God called you to seek freedom from oppression for yourself or others through praise and through action?
Read Romans 13:8-14. What does it mean to consider love a driving force rather than a warm feeling? How does this understanding change the way you act toward yourself and your neighbors?
Read Matthew 18:15-20. When have you participated in or witnessed true reconciliation? How did you see compassion at work?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I could not have found The Upper Room Moments of Prayer (on Facebook Live) sooner. For it is during these moments of centering spiritual practices, meditating on the words of scripture, praying with and for the world, that I find moments of transcendence, hear whispers of peace and hope, see glimpses of truth and justice, behold visions of love and beauty amid all the stark realities that are around me.”