Lament into hope into rejoicing – the church – day 29
(the church = the people of God / followers of Jesus Christ)
Psalm 57 –
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by.
Psalm 57 opens with the psalmist’s cries to God. We’ve all been where the psalmist is – and we may well be there right now feeling as though “destroying storms” are all around. Not the kind of storms that bring rain and wind, but those that bring sadness, longing, and grief that comes from weeks and weeks of being separated from our loved ones. I’m right there right now, and if you are, too, we are together. I see you. I feel your pain. I am beside you and here for you. Together we take refuge in the shadow of God’s Almighty wings as we wait huddled together until the storms pass us by.
Psalm 130: 5-6 –
I wait for you, O God,
my soul waits and I your word I hope.
My soul waits for you, O God,
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
Together we huddle and wait; together we huddle and watch for the morning light.
In his book, “Celtic Benediction: Morning and Night Prayer,” J. Philip Newell begins each day’s meditation with these words: “Be still and aware of God’s presence within and all around.” Let us together breathe deeply and experience the presence of the Lord, our God.
Now, we come to v. 7 of Psalm 57 … breathe deeply as you read …
7My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!
Read it again … “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!” Feel God’s presence within and all around. Feel God’s strength and perseverance surging within your body, soul, and mind. Feel the renewal that comes with the presence of the Lord, our God. Together we feel renewed and restored with the energy that God provides! Breathe deeply and read v. 7 again “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!” Let us together exhale all anxiety … banish it away!
What comes next? The rest of Psalm 57 …
I will sing and make melody.
8Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn.
9I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds.
11Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth!
Lament turns into hope; hope turns into praise; praise turns into joy and singing!
As you embark on this new day, may it be so for you; may you know that we are in this thing called life and faith – and even pandemic – together. I see you. I am beside you. I love you!
May your mantra throughout the day be this … “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!”
In Christ’s name we pray together, saying, Amen.
P.S. Always know that I am here whenever you might need my listening and steadfast heart.
Rev. Susan Carter Wiggins