Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pentecost 4c - Psalm 22:19-28

Psalm 22 begins with the absence of God but ends with assurance as the one who cries “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” is confident that the Lord not hidden has listened to the cry for help. It is the absolute honesty of the psalms of lament that allows them to end on a note of praise. In a way they are liturgical venting, the psalmist’s heart poured out in questioning and complaint. It does not mean the condition that prompts the cry of dereliction is resolved but that voicing the complaint, an act of faith, restores the strength that is sapped and renews the confidence that is shaken. That is true for the laments of our lives which is why the psalms are the place we go when trouble surrounds us and deliverance seems far off. It is why this psalm sprung forth from the mouth of Jesus as he hung on the cross and while the witnesses of the crucifixion only heard the first verse, “My God, my God…” Jesus knew the psalm ends with rejoicing even as the cross was prelude to resurrection. So too with us, for Jesus overcame pain and sorrow and suffering and the darkness of death so that all our laments would end in praise.

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