Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Monday, April 11, Morning – Holy Week Day 1

By Jenny Cross, Director of Youth and College Ministries

Restoring Joy

Read: Psalm 51:12

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

A popular trend during the month of January is to choose a word of the year. The idea is to pray for guidance and to land on a word that will help set your intention and focus for the year. I have tried this before, but it hasn’t quite worked for me. This year, as I prayed, reflected, and prepared for 2022, a verse came to mind instead. It comes from Psalm 51 — a psalm that often coincides with our Lenten season. It includes verses like “Create in me a new heart, O God” and “Have mercy on me.” We are familiar with the phrases, but it wasn’t until I was working through the Bible last year that I really understood the context of this psalm. David writes this song in the midst of one of the darkest seasons of his life. He has committed a horrible sin, hurting God and other people. And yet, in the midst of his grief and brokenness, he turns to God instead of away. David responds to his own sinfulness with repentance and worship. He asks God for mercy and forgiveness, to be cleansed and renewed. Isn’t that what we all need?

The focus verse I’m using this year is v. 12, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” I want the source of my joy to come from Christ and His love for me. My hope for this Lenten season is to draw closer to the heart of the Father and to be transformed as I come to know Him more fully.


Holy God, You love us deeply, even as we sin and fall short of Your Glory. We repent and turn away from the things that separate us from you. Help us become more aware of your presence as we prepare for the joy of Easter. Amen.

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