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