Lenten Devotional March 13, 2021


Psalm 149

1 Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful. 2 Let Israel be glad in its Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King. 3 Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre. 4 For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory. 5 Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their couches. 6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands, 7 to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, 8 to bind their kings with fetters and their nobles with chains of iron, 9 to execute on them the judgment decreed. This is glory for all his faithful ones. Praise the Lord!


The Rev. Rebecca McGreevy Hickok ’93

It is Sat., March 13. But . . . it’s not really Sat., March 13. As I write these words, it’s late June, and my deadline for submitting this devotional is in a few days. It’s a sweltering summer day in the mid-Hudson Valley, an area hit particularly hard by “the virus.” Here in New York, we are on a slow march to whatever normal will be for us.

I can’t imagine what next week will bring, much less what our world will look like in nine months, when it really will be March 13. But I can tell you one thing: there’s a good chance that we will not be singing the praises of God in the congregation of the faithful. Singing is the one thing they’ve told us not to do. All those diagrams and graphs and 8 x 10 colored glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back have shown us that. NO SINGING! No new songs. No old songs. No songs with dance. No songs with timbrel. No songs with harp. NO . . . SINGING.

Yet it’s the one thing we should be doing now—whether it’s June or March. New songs, old songs, protest songs, praise songs, lament songs . . . songs that fill our hearts with love; songs that fill our eyes with vision; songs that fill our ears with awareness. Maybe we can’t gather together as we used to in pre-Covid-19 days, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still sing. In fact, do this: close the computer or Ipad or phone or whatever device you are using to read this devotional, stand up, and hoot out your favorite hymn. If we can dance like no one is watching, then we can certainly sing like no one is listening. Except God. Who is listening—and beaming at all God’s beloved children standing by themselves in their homes and workplaces and backyards and at traffic lights and by a loved one’s hospital bed and in classrooms or church offices, singing. Singing for our lives. Praise God!


Loving God, Conductor of the Choir Invisible, we lift our voices to you not just to praise you but also to ask your guidance as we seek to be in harmony with each other. Amen.

About Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Rooted in the Reformed tradition, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is committed to the formation of women and men for theologically reflective ministry and to scholarship in service to the global Church of Jesus Christ.

Become a Student

Certificate Programs

Special Programs


In addition to their on-campus duties, our faculty are experts in their fields and are available to preach and teach. Learn more about their topics of research and writing and invite them to present at your congregation or gathering.


The Seminary hosts a wide range of events—many of them free!—on topics of faith including church planting, mission, vocation, spiritual formation, pastoral care and counseling, archaeology, and many more. Visit our calendar often for a listing of upcoming events.

Visit PTS

Interested in the Seminary? Come visit us!

Stay in Touch with PTS

Sign-up to receive the Seminary's newsletters: Seminary News (monthly), Center for Adaptive and Innovative Ministry (monthly), Continuing Education (monthly), World Mission Initiative (monthly), Metro-Urban Institute (quarterly), and Kelso Museum. Alums, there's also one for you!