March 7, 2008

I am grateful for this means of communicating with you. My plan is to post a brief reflection weekly where I share a practice that has formed my spiritual life for many years. Each week I use the four Scripture readings that comprise the Revised Common Lectionary as a basis for prayer. As you probably know, these readings follow the rhythms of the Christian year.

One of the readings for the fifth Sunday in Lent is Psalm 130, which voices the lament of one who cries “out of the depths” to the Lord. Those familiar with John Rutter’s Requiem know that a mournful cello carries the pathos of the key words of the psalmist—cry, wait, and hope.

There is a movement from desperation to confidence, from realization of iniquity to assurance of forgiveness. The cry is directed to the Lord; one waits for the Lord (as for the morning); and hope is kindled by the Lord, through remembering faithful presence and love.

This psalm provides a pattern for me when overwhelmed in the “deep.” I must be willing to offer my lament to God, wait for God’s merciful resolution, and hope for further redemption of seemingly intractable circumstances. As Walter Brueggemann puts it, “what cannot be spoken, cannot be redeemed.” In these final weeks of Lent, I invite you to open your heart to God in this manner. God will hear.

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