On Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. God's Spirit is not only involved in creating us and sustaining us and re-creating us as children of God and citizens of God's eternal kingdom, but God's Spirit is also involved in the restoration of all things that is to come. Therefore, "bless the Lord, O my soul!"
On Ascension Sunday, we celebrate that Jesus is King of the universe. All those who have acknowledged Jesus Christ as their sovereign King can rejoice that Christ has ascended to His heavenly throne and has empowered all who have put their trust in Him to be His witnesses to the end of the earth. With Jesus Christ as our King, the church cannot lose.
In this passage, we are encouraged to give thanks to the Lord for raising Jesus Christ from the dead. Because God acted to save Jesus from death, we can know that all those who put their trust in Jesus Christ will also be delivered from death on the last day. May we therefore joyfully celebrate the Lord's day, not just on Easter Sunday, but every Lord's day that we gather together to triumphantly declare what the Lord has done for us.
In this passage, we see the steadfast love of the Lord on display. When the psalmist was near death, the Lord responded to his distress and became his salvation. Unlike the psalmist, Jesus would actually die. But three days later, Jesus would be raised from the dead, later ascend into heaven, and will one day come again to raise His people from death to life. Because of Jesus' resurrection from the dead, all who believe in Him will also conquer death. What ought to be our response to the Lord's goodness? We ought to "give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!" (Psalm 118:1, 29)
In Psalm 146, the psalmist invites us to praise the Lord with our whole being and for our whole life. We may be consumed by worries of various kinds, but if we have put our trust in Jesus Christ, we can have assurance that God will take care of us. Such wonderful news should certainly make us sing for joy.
In Psalm 72, David prays for his son Solomon, king of Israel - that God will give him perfect justice and righteousness, that God will give him a long life and flourishing kingdom, that his dominion will extend to the ends of the earth, that he will be known for his care of the poor and needy, and that he will be a blessing to the nations. While Solomon partially fulfilled Psalm 72, God's answer to David's prayer would be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who "will reign over the house of Jacob forever," and of whose "kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-33). While we wait for Jesus to come again to fully and finally establish God's perfect kingdom on the earth, may we bear witness to and pray for Jesus' coming.
In Psalm 122, the psalmist urges Old Testament pilgrims to pray for the peace of Jerusalem because "the house of the Lord" (Psalm 122:9) was in the city. Since the church is "a dwelling place for God" (Ephesians 2:22), we should pray also for the peace of the church. And as we pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the peace of the church, may we long for the day when the new Jerusalem will come down out of heaven from God, and when the dwelling place of God will be with man forever. Only in Jesus Christ can such perfect peace be found.
Advent is a season that helps us wait for Christ's second coming while we wonder at His first coming. But for some, this is not the most wonderful time of the year. In Psalm 80, the people of Israel are crying out for God to restore them. This He would do by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to save His people from their sins. We all experience the brokenness of living in a fallen world, but the hope is that God will one day awaken His might and come to save us - fully, finally, and forever - when He comes again in the Person of Jesus Christ.