Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
For many of us spending more time at home than usual, it is easy to be distracted by the many sources of information and other things that grab our attention. In this time, God invites us beyond ourselves to find our meaning and life in him.
- How do you answer the question in verse 2? What distracts you?
- What are God’s words of invitation in this passage?
- What invitation do you need to accept with gratitude today?
God, we lift our lives up to you, knowing that you are the only one who can satisfy our deepest needs. We relinquish to you the habits and practices that distract us from finding our fulfillment in you and being a source of your love to those around us. Help us to receive your invitation today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
During times of discomfort and difficulty, our minds want to make sense of it all, so that we can regain our equilibrium. This can lead us to conclusions that bring comfort to us, but may not be sourced in the heart of God. As we continue in this season that is impossible to understand, we remember that God is at work in ways that we can comprehend and we trust him in that.
- What is difficult for you to understand during this time?
- Are there conclusions you have drawn in order to make sense of what we are experiencing? What are those conclusions based in?
- Is there an area of confusion that you can entrust to the Lord today?
Gracious God, as we continue in this season of isolation, our restless hearts and minds want to make sense of it. Help us to lean into you, believing that your understanding is far beyond ours. Comfort us and lead us that we might focus on what is ours to do, knowing that your ways are far above what we see. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
This is a continuation of the passage from yesterday, and reminds us of God’s intention in the world. It is impossible for us to see it clearly, especially during these times of difficulty, but we are invited to join God in his work in the world, even when we do not completely understand.
- Where have you been blessed in seeing the consistency of the seasons these days?
- When you think about the promises of God in the midst of this time, what do you wish to humbly lay before him?
- What is the gift which God desires to give to the world through you?
Gracious God, we thank you for the rhythm of the year that demonstrates your consistency and intentions. Help us trust you, believing you are accomplishing what you have purpose in this time, and participate in your work in the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
12 For you shall go out in joy,
and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
What a passage of hope as God leads this people in joy, peace, and worship. We participate with nature in praise to God as faithfully discern and do what is ours to do. And graciously, God causes the fruit to be strong and life-giving.
- With what emotions are you going about your day?
- Where do you see nature celebrating God?
- Where would you like to see God produce good fruit? What is yours to do in participation with his work?
Gracious God, thank you for the joy and hope that this passage expresses. This seems in contrast to the ways many of us are feeling. Help us to restore our hope in you as we watch for you at work in our world and give us willing hearts to join you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help 6 and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
On days like this, as Palm Sunday nears, we need reminders of God’s redeeming love and worthiness of our praise and we can do this in worship on Sunday. Isolation can cause us to feel disquieted and lonely, but the psalmist invites us to remember God’s past faithfulness, lean into hope in God, and find strength in the community of other believers.
- How are you feeling today as you prepare for Palm Sunday?
- When have you seen God’s faithfulness in the past?
- How does remembering the past help you to trust God in the present and for the future?
Gracious God, as we prepare with your Church to celebrate your triumphal entry, we stand with our brothers and sisters across generations and across the globes. Help us to stand in solidarity with your children as we lift our hearts up to you and echo with one another, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” In this very One, Jesus’ name, Amen.