April 12, 2011

April 12: If there is only one egg in the house…

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By Chris Kauffman, campus nurse
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:
I remember a Palm Sunday celebration in Guatemala several years ago, where the worship was filled with festivity. The marimba music was playing as we arrived, the dirt floor was covered with pine needles that filled the room with a sweet aroma, and bright colors of woven cloth draped the front of the church.

The atmosphere was one of celebration and praise, but I noticed that the woman seated next to me was crying. She had two small children playing at her feet and an older daughter by her side.

Later she told me, “Sister, things are really hard right now. My two children are sick and our corn supply is low. But,” she said “if there is only one egg in the house, there is cause for praise. We will always praise the one true God, knowing the Lord will be with us during the difficult times.”

Psalm 118 opens and closes with the same verse: O give thanks to God, for God is good; God’s steadfast love endures forever! The psalmist deliberately uses repetition to call the congregation to testify to the abiding grace of God. Then in the midst of this thanksgiving, there is a petition. Verse 25 states, “Save us, we beseech you, O Lord.”

The psalmist speaks both praise and petition in the same breath. The people of Israel praised Yahweh’s faithfulness and recognized their need to be held with “steadfast love.” May we face today with an attitude of praise that encompasses thanksgiving and our petition for Yahweh’s blessing.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (NRSV)
1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success! 26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you. 29 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

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Comments (9)

  1. I guess when I have a week that cash is short i need to be thankful to God that he gives me an income!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    bob April 12, 2011 |
  2. The GC devotional came later today than usual and I really missed it to begin my day. I liked your challenge to be grateful even if there is only one egg in the house. That isn’t always easy for me to do. Thank You!

    Mary April 12, 2011 |
  3. Thanks for the reminder (through your Guatemalan friend’s eyes) that there is always something to be thankful for. Beautiful devotional.

    Betty April 12, 2011 |
  4. Thank you for relating how the spirit of a poor Guatemalan mother embodies a truly grateful heart for God’s blessing. This is a deeply moving lesson to me.

    marjorie April 12, 2011 |
  5. Your story was so meaningful today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Deb Lange April 12, 2011 |
  6. Thank you for the reminder to always praise God, even during tough times.

    Doreen April 12, 2011 |
  7. Oh to start and close everyday with thanksgiving! The day that starts with hope and promise may bring hardship and pain. However, as we lie to rest may we still remember God’s everlasting love and give thanks.

    Pamela April 13, 2011 |
  8. This devotional reminds me of just how much I appreciate the Lenten and Advent devotions from Goshen College each year. I’m saying a hearty THANK YOU to all of the authors and to the college for such a
    “reaching out to the world” that is a blessing!

    Bonnie Sowers April 16, 2011 |
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    Research Chemicals March 9, 2012 |