Psalm 118:15-29

Not only do our stories matter, our storytelling does too. Congregations need to hear why and how they live out their faith between Sundays. We need times and places when we express gratitude for our experiences of God’s grace. When we know each other’s stories, our disagreements may continue, but our understanding and empathy may grow. We start realizing that God’s love reaches farther than we’ve extended it. Our hope in how God works among us deepens. We become more grateful and full of wonder. 

The psalmist knows the power of testimony. Psalm 118 sings of how God’s people experience divine help in trying times and long to tell of it. Their worship bears witness to their experience that “The LORD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation” (v. 14). They live to recount the deeds of the LORD
(v. 17) and their words reflect a faith discovered and lived out because of God’s love. The faithful give thanks for how God answers them. They extol God for being the cornerstone of their story. Scholars William Bellinger and Walter Brueggemann note that after expressing their gratitude here for God’s deliverance through the Exodus, the psalmist invites the congregation to enter the narrative and join in the thanksgiving. The community receives this experience as a “marvelous act of hope.” 

This is what happens when we share our stories with each other. Storytelling is absolutely crucial if we are to maintain a true sense of community. When we share our pain and our joy together, we renew our hope and learn to live with gratitude. 

William Bellinger and Walter Brueggemann, Psalms, New Cambridge Bible Commentary (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014).


If you were sharing out of your pain and your joy, what would you share? How would that give your community hope?


God, our help in ages past, our hope in years to come, we give thanks for  and find hope in the many ways you have cared for us. Amen.

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