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Speaking to the Soul: This Psalm Endures Forever

Speaking to the Soul: This Psalm Endures Forever

Easter Week, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 136 (morning) // 118 (evening)

Exodus 13:1-2, 11-16

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

Luke 24:1-12

This morning’s Psalm is a long one. On many days, we have two or more Psalms to sing in the morning, but today we just have one, since it takes up plenty of prayer time all on its own. Adding to our sense of the Psalm’s length is the fact that it repeats itself: Twenty-six times over, we echo the refrain, “for his mercy endures forever.” On and on, over and over, “his mercy endures forever.”

My congregation read this long and repetitive Psalm after the Creation story at the Vigil this year. Although I love the Easter Vigil, this Psalm made me think to myself, “It’s gonna be a long night.” And indeed, God’s mercy is long-lasting. Sometimes God’s mercy takes the long route, much to our pain and disappointment. But God’s mercy, I believe, is what we are sure to find true about God in the long run.

If we pray this Psalm slowly, we gently and rhythmically impress upon ourselves an awareness of God’s persistent, insistent, enduring mercy. Perhaps we can hear these words ringing in our ears, beating in our hearts, all day long: “mercy endures forever.”

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with education, young adult ministry, and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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