“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1)

Scripture Reading:

Narrator Imagine a scene in ancient Israel. The king has returned victorious from a battle in which he nearly died. But God delivered him, and now he is welcomed back to Jerusalem by his grateful, joyful people. Psalm 118 captures the drama: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say:

Chorus “His love endures forever.”

King In my anguish, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord  than to trust in princes. All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off. They surrounded me on every side,  but in the name of the Lord I cut them off. They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off. I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

Chorus Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!  he Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”

King I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has chastened me severely,     but he has not given me over to death. Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.

A Voice Calls Out This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. 

King I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.

Chorus The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice today and be glad in it.  O Lord, save us! O Lord, grant us success!

A Voice From the Crowd Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  From the house of the Lord we bless you.

Chorus The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.

King You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.

Narrator Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

ALL his love endures forever.