Saturday, March 23, 2013
Morning Psalms: 137, 144 | Evening Psalms: 42, 43
Jeremiah 31:27-34 | Romans 11:25-36 | John 11:28-44 or 12:37-50
The Bread and Wine still on my lips, I headed for the back of the church and the prayer teams. I love having prayer for the weekly “small” events: for the short-term projects, for the “car and kitchen” repairs, and for faithfulness in my daily grind. As we prayed about my everyday request, a team member suddenly switched to praying fervently for the hidden cry of my heart. You see, my oldest son is in harm’s way. There is no moment of night or day when he is completely safe. His responsibilities are heavy and there is no respite. He is in Afghanistan.
Going to war is what Army men do. Their families accept that and try not to whimper about it. But in spite of the many times I’ve said “it’s all right, thanks for asking,” it was not at all right that day after Eucharist, and my God knew it and my friends on the prayer team responded to God’s prompting.
Today’s Psalms are about people whose griefs are overwhelming them. In Psalm 42 the image of the deer panting for the water brooks is not just an image of thirst. Hunters say that wounded deer become thirsty as their bodies lose blood. It is not just water but their lives that they are seeking. Psalm 137, the song of the prisoners by the waters of Babylon, expresses a suffering even greater than the agony of one’s own death.
God is moved with compassion for our hurts, both for the little everyday ones and for those so deep we need somebody else to pray for them on our behalf. But the message of Lent is not just to sympathize with our need, but to foreshadow God’s provision for the sin and sorrow that beset us. The depth of the sorrows revealed in today’s readings presage the depth of God’s provision for our ultimate comfort, our reconciliation to Him.
Thank you, Lord, for Your provision for healing our deepest wounds, by the deep wounds Your own son suffered.
Rosa Lee Richards (MAR 2006, STM 2010, DMin student)
Adjunct Faculty, Hebrew
Trinity School for Ministry
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