search icon search iconSearch A-Z Index Members IconMember Portal Members IconOnline Giving
Members Icon


Welcome to the First Presbyterian Church portal. Please choose an option below to see our events, small groups or to give online.


Lent Readings

Readings Begin February 18

Daily Lent Readings

"He is risen, indeed!" Lent has passed but that doesn't mean the daily readings have to go away. Some of you might be discovering this page for the first time. Others who participated during Lent might find it helpful to revisit a particular reading. For these reasons, we will leave this page up for a while.
We pray that you experience the wonder of interacting with our Savior in a personal, transformative way!
All the readings are also available via podcast on Apple or Spotify. Click here for more information.
"A New Light Shining" painting by Youngsung Kim from Havenlight
← Return to blog

Day 2

At the Temple: One Thing I Have Asked
Imagine standing with Jesus, right next to him, in prayer to his Father. Read this passage of praise aloud. As you do so, consider that you are praying along with Jesus, your two voices becoming one as you bless God.  
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
   and all that is within me,
   bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity
   who heals all your diseases, 
who redeems your life from the pit,
   who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5)
Psalm 27:4-10
One thing have I asked of the LORD,
   that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
   all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
   and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
   in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
   he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
   above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
   sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
   be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
   “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
   Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
   O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
   O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
   but the LORD will take me in.
What Is This Psalm About?
In Psalm 27, virulent enemies press David so hard that he feels like they want “to eat up my flesh” (27:2). He counters his anxiety by praising the LORD, describing in prayer a cascade of God’s qualities. The LORD is his light, his salvation, his rock and his refuge. In times of trouble, the LORD both conceals David from his enemies and lifts him high above them. The reality of God reduces the threat of any foe.
David also understands that when we are restless with worry, it is hard to rest in God. When we thrash about with anxiety over others’ hostility, we struggle to release ourselves into God’s peaceful protection. David knows he needs to go to a place where others who trust in the LORD lift up praises and make their needs known. He seeks a “thin place” where the distance between heaven and earth shrinks. God who is everywhere chose to make himself especially known in his “house,” the place of worship where the Ark of the Covenant resided, where sacrifices of atonement and thanks could be made, where songs of faith rose entwined with cries of need. 
So David realizes that the deepest desire of his heart is to experience the presence of the LORD who had called him as his son and servant. The Holy Spirit placed in David an impulse to seek the face, the experiential presence, of God. He knows this is the quest of his life. The road of that journey is paved with praise. Such worship puts all of life in perspective. When enemies pursue, or even the closest relatives disappoint, the LORD sustains with steadfast love. 
What Might This Psalm Have Meant to Jesus?
In Luke 2:41-51, the author records one episode from Jesus’ boyhood. Jesus’ family takes him to Jerusalem for the sacred festival of Passover. At 12, Jesus is just a year from his bar mitzvah, after which he would be considered a responsible adult. In the courts of the great temple, teachers of the Scriptures gather to discuss, expound and debate the Word of God while others listen. There Jesus realizes his greatest passion: to encounter God through his Word.
From the beginning, Jesus had an extraordinary aptitude for Scripture. I’m sure he loved hearing his rabbi teach every Sabbath. I know Jesus relished the Torah classes held for the boys of his town. But now at the temple, hearing the greatest teachers, spiritual fire blazes in his heart, mind and soul. He yearns to know the LORD more. He knows that his life’s work will be to speak of God from his Word to any who will listen. 
In the temple, where the LORD made his name to dwell, Jesus can barely contain his desire to behold the beauty, the full-of-wonder delightfulness of God to whom he feels so close. How this psalm resounds in his soul! “My heart says to you, ‘Your face, LORD, do I seek’” (Psalm 27:8). And suddenly this boy dares to interact with the teachers, asking and answering questions. He loses all track of time. This is what he does day after day, even when his family has started back for Nazareth.
When his parents, worried sick, double back to find him, Jesus can only reply, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). Jesus realizes that the great God of the glorious Scriptures discussed at the temple is his personal father. He is coming into the truth of his manhood. As close as he has been to his earthly parents, now he knows he must live for his heavenly Father. In this sense, he can pray with David, “My father and mother have forsaken me, but the LORD [my Father!] will take me in.”
Praying with Jesus
Lord Jesus, I thrill to imagine
You at the temple that Passover,
Awakening to your purpose,
Near breathless with deepest desire.
You sought the face of your Father.
Yearning awoke in you to be more and more in his presence. 
In the temple, you tasted the sweetness of the Word.
Your soul blazed with ardor to know your Father intimately,
To shout with joy as you offered yourself to do his will. 
You answered the Spirit’s prompting in you.
You expressed earnestly your greatest fear as you asked
That the Father would never hide his face from you.
You wanted what no human had received before, 
A direct and intimate apprehension of God,
Whom you loved though you had not seen him,
For whom you thirsted, whom you wanted more than anything. 
And today as I pray, I’m astonished
That what you sought, you now give to me.
For you are the face of God in a human face!
You are the Father’s presence in skin and bone.
The glory of God shines in your face
Which is ever turned toward me in love.
Open my eyes that I might see
How what you most desired on earth,
What you fought for, bled for, died for,
Has been freely given to me.


Posted in: Lent