Psalm 22:14

14 I am poured out like water,     and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax;     it is melted within my breast; 

I do know I have already written/preached more than enough this year about  Psalm 22, but it’s just that.. well.. there does seem to have been more than our fair share of opportunities in these last months to join its lament.  In fact, as I sat down to write this week - it was this verse - that was whirling rather wearily around my mind.

 For indeed, that is pretty much, what I AM feeling - “poured out”.. like my “heart is wax.. melted within my breast” ..like it is just WORN OUT from trying to deal with so much bad news washing over us in such unrelenting waves.  And I’m relatively sure that - unfortunately - a whole bunch of you know just what I’m talking about.  First came Humboldt.. then came India (another bus crash of children).. then another terrorist bomb.. and then finally this week the horror of the incident in Toronto.  All coming at us, even as we were still struggling to get past yet another school shooting (Florida) etc. etc. etc..

 At the risk of repeating myself, I will say again that, THIS is why I so love the presence of the Psalms in our Bible.. precisely because they do make a space for us to be honest about our weariness & grief when we need to do so.  And just so, they give us the language to put that grief into words of prayer.  The “Lament Psalms” remind us - every time we read them or hear them - that our God will listen even to our most anguished or angry prayers.

 Just so, there is a powerful compassion at work, in Jesus having chosen just these words to cry out from the cross.  (Ps 22: 1 - “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.”) For by choosing to cry out exactly these words of honest despair from the cross He does forever link the raw reality of the broken heart WITH the great joy that comes but three days later in.. His resurrection.  It reminds us that as dark and forsaken as any given moment in our lives can feel … God is at work - even in the midst of that sorrow - to bring new life and an empty grave for us too.

 And so it is that even as our backs seem to hunch over a bit lower under the weight of such horrific stories (from Toronto or where ever) we remember that we are still not even half way through the great celebration of life beyond life - of God’s power to turn mourning into dancing - that IS Easter.  And in that, in spite of anything the world throws at us, we still root our hope!

 

-       Pr. Stewart