Weekly Reflections 6-24-2015

Weekly Devotions

Weeping spends the night,
but joy comes in the morning.  Ps. 30:5

Texts for Sunday June 28: Lamentations 3:22-33; Psalm 30; 2 Corinthians8:7-15; Mark 5:21-43 

Psalm 30 records the praise and gratitude of someone who was lost but now is found; someone who was sick “unto death” but now is made well; someone who was in deep grief but now has found joy.  It is the speech of someone who has suffered so intensely that God seems absent (v.7) or angry (v.8).  

A lot of agony in the psalm, and yet, this is a psalm of praise.

I suspect that in the misery, the psalmist had an insight similar to the one expressed by Suzanne Guthrie in Grace’s Window

When despair has obliterated ordinary prayer; when the psalms fail and all words are stupid and meaningless, the mantle of loneliness surrounding me becomes a mantle of dark and wordless love.  This darkness reveals the paradox of prayer: in the absence of God, all there is, is God.

I am preparing a lesson on a concept called Theology of the Cross.  The lesson is for the youth who are going to the national gathering in Detroit where they will walk with people who have known struggles, loss, and death in profound ways.  We will talk about God’s solidarity and suffering.  We will talk about how the cross shows us the depth and reality of evil.  And we will talk about how the cross teaches us that life comes out of death.

Just when it seems there is no hope, there is hope (check out the Gospel for this Sunday, Mark 5:21-43). Weeping spends the night, but joy comes in the morning.

Somewhere in all those random thoughts is why this psalm is one of praise. God is present in the absence. God knows the pain. God gives life as a gift. In all that, praise is not a response to a certain circumstance - praise is a way of life.   

Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing; O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

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Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245