Psalm 118:24 "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
It's hard for some of us sometimes to rejoice and be glad in some days, but that's the commitment of that psalm in context. Ancient Israelite families in the Galilee region went months before they would all be able to gather in the house of God for worship celebrations. They looked forward to the day family and friends would reunite in those festival times, and to celebrate Passover. Psalm 118 was a psalm sung by those Jewish pilgrims through their history. It would have been sung by Mary and Joseph and their relatives as they caravaned with their 12 year old son, and later the 12 disciples. v. 26 had special significance when Israelites finally got back to their place of worship: "We bless you from the house of the LORD!" From there they would bind the festival sacrifice of a lamb (v. 27)
While we look forward to the day when we can reunite family and friends in our local house of God, I'm reminded that the first half of v. 26 has already come in Christ: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD." Peter wrote to the believers scattered in various places, calling them pilgrims, and talking about the precious blood of our sacrifice in Christ. Our Passover Lamb has come and He's the Lamb on the throne. He has made this day, so let us rejoice and be glad in Him until we can bless each other in person from the house of the Lord. This side of the cross and Easter, we have even more reasons to say this Lord's Day "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it...Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!" (v. 29)
Here are some application questions and helps for us to apply rejoicing and being glad, taken from our text in Colossians 1:3-8. Take time after the message to share with others verbally, or electronically (by text to those you're in contact with, by comment on Facebook, video on Marco Polo, etc.)
1. What is something you've been thankful for lately in light of all that's going on?
2. How have you been encouraged to see people loving each other in the family of Christ?
3. Where have you seen the Gospel bearing fruit in recent weeks in those you know?
Continued application: Pray Colossians this week (1:9-12 could be used in conjunction with church photo directory, and/or contact people to ask how you can pray more specifically).
For specific ways I would encourage you to pray for each other today, click here
"This is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!"
Pursuing Christ-centered gladness and gratitude with you, even on hard days. Pastor Phil