Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pentecost 26 C - Psalm 98

Psalm 98
Seas roaring and floods clapping are not such joyful images in light of Typhoon Haiyan which might also cause one to question how the steadfast love and faithfulness of the Lord to ancient Israel is understood in the Philippines today. Of course psalms are poetic songs and take liberties with literal images. Even so roaring seas and clapping floods are best experienced from a safe distance. But then David wants his song to celebrate the awesome power of the Almighty and hills singing (i.e. earthquakes) and seas roaring and floods clapping are the best way he can describe the unrestrained might of the Almighty. But this is where the image falls short because the sea doesn't give a damn who it sweeps away into oblivion leaving sorrow and suffering in its wake. There is no equity in the random nature of natural destructive forces as the innocent are just as likely to die as the deserving. And David could not understand God’s faithfulness and steadfast love for Israel apart from David’s victory over Israel’s enemies and in that sense David didn't give a damn for anyone outside of his own kingdom. But in the end it was God who was swept away by the flood as the seas roared crucify and the hills clapped at the sight of his suffering even though their celebration was short lived for when Jesus rose above the storm of death a new song was sung. And the way we sing the new song is to help those who suffer and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2) ELCA Disaster Response

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