Psalm 118

Blessed is the one who comes it the name of the Lord!”  You will hear these words spoken several times on Palm Sunday.  The quote above is a refrain from Psalm 118.  Psalm 118, used as a temple song for hundreds of years, is now brought forward into Jesus’ life.  Psalm 118 is given renewed meaning by the people crowded along the road, as Jesus enters Jerusalem for the last time.

It’s a liturgical formula, but the psalm refrain speaks a cry deep in all of our hearts.  “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”  But…what is it?  What is blessing?  Wishing someone well?  Giving them respect?  Showering them with praise?  Committing oneself to what is good and true? 

As we consider what a blessing is, we would do well to remember that the flip-side of blessing, a curse, is never commanded in the New Testament.  In fact, Jesus commanded his followers not to curse, and especially not to curse those who oppose you (Luke 6:28, Romans 12:14).

Lord Jesus, may our lives of faith be lives of unmitigated blessing.  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.  Amen.

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