Saturday, October 27, 2012

Joy in the Morning

I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O LORD,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
To you, O LORD, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me!
O LORD, be my helper!”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever! Psalm 30

I have returned home after a good week in Fairbanks. On Thursday we had a healing workshop and a service of healing. people shared their stories of hurt and abuse, of violence, loss and dislocation. And yet despite what they had suffered they were all gathered to find healing and to offer healing and forgiveness to others. They were all seeking to serve God by offering themselves. I was touched and moved by everyone's honesty and commitment to others. What joy and possibility despite what has gone on before.

I find that the psalms are often wonderful expressions of the life of faith. Despite the pain we have suffered God does not leave of there, and the psalms are anthems to God's continuing faithfulness and everlasting constancy, despite all the harsh and cruel people we encounter in our world. We know pain but the psalmist helps us celebrate both our survival and God's love for us.

Today, as light dawns in Sitka, our home, I give thanks for the morning and for every morning we have. I ask God to turn all of the mourning into dancing today and to bring joy where there was only pain. May God's love and faithfulness be wrapped around us today, like a warm blanket of tenderness and forgiveness, so that we can share out joy with others.

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