Monday, May 20, 2013

A Thought for Monday 5/20/13

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?  Why are You so far from helping me, so far from the words of my groaning?  O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but find no rest … yet it was You who took me from the womb; You kept me safe on my mother’s breast.  On You I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me You have been my God.  Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help me.”  Psalm 22:1-2, 9-11 NRSV

Watching the news this morning and trying to process the devastation left by yesterday’s storms in the Midwest (and the potential for even more today), this prayer of lamentation crossed my mind.  Though I cannot say I appreciate the news media stuffing microphones into the faces of victims who are overwhelmed by their losses, I could not help but to think of how this prayer, this psalm must have come to be written and exactly what the writer was expressing in his own time; when the writer surely believed his own world was coming to an end, and God seemed so ... absent.

Just as easily as we can see the Lord in the majesty of a glorious sunrise, we can as easily feel the Lord’s absence in the wake of disaster.  We take heart, however, and especially in the season of Pentecost when we remember the Lord giving Himself not only at Mt Sinai but also in Jerusalem … and each day since – as long as we are willing to receive it and offer it to others as it is offered to us: assurance, help in time of need, presence, security.

Our prayers often reflect our own human emotions and when we feel as though we’ve lost everything and there seems no hope, it is easy to believe the Lord has turned His back on us.  Yet when the people of God gather to offer a helping hand to those in the midst of their sorrows, when the people of God gather to share in their sorrows and help with their recovery, then the people so devastated may proclaim, “You have answered me” (Psalm 22:21b).  This is when they see our Lord; when the Church is at her very best!

Let us remember our blessings, however great or small, and recount Jesus’ words to His followers as He reminds us why we are so blessed: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded” (Luke 12:48).  That is, we are so abundantly blessed so that we may bless others.  That is “the code”.  It is the Word of the Lord given in so many ways so that it may be given in so many ways.



BarryLee said...

Very good words. Encouraging

Michael said...

Thank you, BarryLee.