Wednesday August 19, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Mark 11:1-10

As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it and will return it soon.’”

The two disciples left and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside the front door. As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it, and he sat on it.

Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,

“Praise God!
    Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
10 Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David!
    Praise God in highest heaven!”

Today’s Devotional

We have been working our way through the book of Mark in these daily devotionals and have now arrived at the Triumphal Entry – Palm Sunday. It seems a little strange to be reading this on a Wednesday morning in August doesn’t it? We usually hear these verses on a Spring Sunday morning with a loud organ and palm branches. This got me wondering – when is the best time to praise God?

Of course, praising God on Palm Sunday or even on a Sunday morning makes sense. Plus, we have all of the tools (music, prayer, scripture) at our disposal to make for a good “praise”. In fact, you could say it’s easy to praise God on Palm Sunday.

But what about a Wednesday morning in August?

The fact is, we are commanded to praise – period. Praise does not occur only in worship or on red-letter days. The triumphal entry took place on a boring Sunday – not the sabbath day (Saturday). Praise can and should happen anywhere at any time. You need no special invitation. You don’t have to get dressed up. And the date on the calendar matters not at all.

So how can we go about making sure that we praise God in the everyday? I think it’s as simple as looking for one thing to say “Thank you” for – even if we are in the middle of a storm or a boring Wednesday.

So today, look for one thing to praise God about. It might be text from a friend, a touch from a partner, a rainstorm that cleans the air. All it takes is recognizing the presence of God and saying thank you.

Today’s Prayer

God we want to praise you even in the normal days, the stormy days, the hard days, and the easy days. Help us to recognize your presence with us and then to vocalize our praise. For you are our God and we are your people.


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