The Language of Love

In the greeting of family
and friends not seen since
the last celebration observed

In loving embraces, handshakes,
genuine smiles and
unanticipated tears flowing

In introductions of 3rd cousins
names forgotten, seeming
older than we recall we’ve become

while repeating the same stories
of youth our hearts are
enfolded in grandma’s quilts.

Together we remember the
uniqueness of the
person honored, respected, loved.

Anyone can observe this shared
DNA in smirks,
defining eye expressions

the particular way we
carry our bodies
as generations before us.

Anyone can see the way we
love one another
across lines that might divide others.

Psalm 118 (v. 1-2, 20-29)

Give thanks to the Lord who is good;
the mercy of the Lord endures forever.
Let Israel now proclaim,
“The mercy of the Lord endures forever.”
Open the gates of righteousness for me
so I can come in and give thanks to the Lord!
This is the Lord’s gate;
those who are righteous enter through it.
I thank you because you answered me,
because you were my saving help.
The stone rejected by the builders
is now the main foundation stone!
This has happened because of the Lord;
it is astounding in our sight!
This is the day the Lord acted;
we will rejoice and celebrate in it!
Lord, please save us!
Lord, please let us succeed!
The one who enters in the Lord’s name is blessed;
we bless all of you from the Lord’s house.
The Lord is God!
Who has shined a light on us!
So lead the festival offering with ropes
all the way to the horns of the altar.[a]
You are my God—I will give thanks to you!
You are my God—I will lift you up high!
Give thanks to the Lord who is good,
God’s mercy and faithful love endures forever.


This past week’s Gospel reading included the story of Lazarus. We know that Easter is very close when hearing the message that Jesus was angry and wept at the tomb of his very good friend. That he gave the command that the stone be rolled away so that he could come out of tomb and being resurrected.

We approach Palm Sunday as this year’s Lenten journey nears the end. This time it will be Jesus who is on the brink of death and new life. It’s never easy to lose our friends or family. We know there will be sadness when we enter Holy Week and know the outcome. Who hasn’t known grief when loved ones have breathed their last breath?

Yet, we are and will be sustained by the support of one another. Phone calls, memorial services, hugs, and music tie us together. Like Jesus at the tomb, we may feel anger that comes out of sadness. The only thing to do is to fall on our knees, turn to God, and admit that we are in great spiritual need. In our emptiness, a holy touch comes upon us. We receive graces that were previously unknown and so we…

Give thanks to the Lord who is good.

God’s mercy and faithful love endures forever.

We pray for you as we go through this journey of death to life together in Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and finally Easter services together.

God’s grace and peace,

Rev. Marta Wheeler

To view or download a PDF version of this devotional, click here:  Devotional MW 2023-03-29