Saturday, April 7, 2012

Today is that day inbetween the already and the not yet.  It's this world and not.  It's complicated.  I offer the 22nd Psalm with more.  I was asked to preach this Psalm last night for Good Friday, but I don't preach the Psalms.  I pray them.   So, here is my prayer.  Please understand these are my personal notes so they will be incomplete and unedited.  In prayer, I offer you this prayer.

Psalm 22

1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

2O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.

God, do you hear the pain?  Do you hear the children who are starving and the violence that steals them from their Mama’s arms?  Do you feel the quake of the parent who lost a child?  Do you hear the anger that permeates the voices of world?   Do you really hear, O Lord, the groaning of this world as we beg for your voice?  Have you left us in the dust?  Are we left to do with our problems without you and your wisdom?  Have you washed your hands of us?

3Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

4In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.

They taught us to love you…our parents and grandparents taught us in faith…they gave us the rituals and the scriptures to guide us…We were taught well…they trusted you!  They trusted their lives in your hands listening to your voice and they taught us to do the same.

5To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

6But I am a worm, and not human; scorned by others, and despised by the people.

I am tired, Lord.  We look around and We see the pain life crashes on so many…cancer, illness, job loss, homelessness, addictions, anger, violence, pain, Lord…We open my eyes to my neighbor and We know their pain on top of our own.  Our world feels put to shame…left behind…lost in its sinfulness…crowded out by the ones who chose not to hear your voice…not to listen…it’s like you have silenced yourself and watch from a distance as hate and evil spread….God…where are you?

7All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;

The children God who are bullied to the point of suicide….the men who abuse their wives and children…the people who see others as throw aways…God the mocking is loud and it is scary!  The violence of our world…the lovelessness and hate is in the news at every turn…gun violence, war, hateful words, racism, ageism, poverty, desolation…..

8“Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver— let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

Lord, save your children…end the violence…end the depravity so many find their lives to be bound by.  God, break in!  Break in and save us!  End the angers and the hatred and the violence that pervades.  Stop the evil love stealing ways from spreading.

9Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.

10On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God.

You knew me as a babe…I knew you through holding my own babies.  I knew the power of your gentle creation…I knew the silkiness of your touch through birth.  I have known you since the beginning…you Lord were with us from the first touches, the first cries the first breaths…you breathed life into us, o Lord.  I, we have known you since you created us.  My core knows you despite my mouths cries.

11Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

I know your hand holds me…you carry me in the sands of are my strength.

12Many bulls encircle me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me;

13they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.

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

15my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

16For dogs are all around me; a company of evildoers encircles me. My hands and feet have shriveled;

17I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me;

18they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.

19But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid!

No matter how awful this life becomes…I know you, Oh God!  I know you are here….you hold us!  You know us!  Don’t leave us forsaken completely.

20Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!

21Save me from the mouth of the lion! From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.

It is in your power…your might…your mercy, Oh Lord…it is only in you that I know I will be saved.  That my pains…the pains of our world…will not win!  They will not have the last word…You Will! 

22I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

I will share you, O Lord…I won’t keep you to myself and hide you…I will share our relationship with the world without shame…I am yours and I love you!  I will tell others of your amazing love…

23You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

Don’t hide…let your life show your love of God…don’t make God less than money…make God the greatest part of your life…Sing his name in hallelujahs and offer blessings in his name!

24For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.

He didn’t leave the broken…he stayed!  He didn’t run away like a fair weather friend when we hurt…he didn’t leave us in our pains to be consumed by them.  He hasn’t turned his back on the groans of pain from the creation…he hears the children who are starving and the mothers grieving their babies.  He hears us in our pain!

25From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.

26The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek you shall praise the Lord. May our hearts live forever in you!

God will answer the needs of the afflicted! There is joy in know God is God…there is relief in not being left in the pains and agonies of this world without, you, oh God…We need you! 

27All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.

28For dominion belongs to the Lord, and you rule over the nations.

29To you, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down; before you shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for you.

30Posterity will serve you; future generations will be told about the Lord,

31and proclaim your deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that God has done it.

We are his children…to live the love and the gift.  Amen!

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