JKPC

Community in Action

I can no longer be silent about the recent death of George Floyd. My heart is breaking over the end of life of another black man. Yes, there are other deaths which are heartbreaking as well. Like the high percentage of suicides by Veterans or the bombing of people in synagogues or the cutting down of police officers seeking to protect us. This is all so disturbing and heart wrenching. I am at a loss as to how we can survive as a people on a planet that continues to ignore the “least of these,” while having enough to feed every person in this world (The least being those who do not have the privileges we have or those who don’t have the voice we have.)

    Poverty, racism, and violence have become all too familiar in our world. And what is more disturbing is the people of faith who implicitly or complicity continue championing these atrocities.

    It is in these times that I feel I have just a glimpse of the anguish Jesus had as he cried out the first verse of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus who came to set the prisoners free, to give those who are blind sight, and to save those who are lost, literally and metaphorically, the Jesus who was persecuted, tortured, and executed.

    If you read this Psalm it tells the tale of anyone who has suffered at the hands of another. It speaks of the inhumanity experienced so easily in this world. It is a Psalm that begins at our extremities with pain and doesn’t let up until it travels through the hollows of the body rasping out of the voice box an excruciating moan.

    I am sorry for the graphic depiction of the suffering which funnels from all ends of the earth out of the mouth of suffering humanity, but it shows from the depths of our being our greatest need, freedom for our soul.

    This Psalm is not easy to read, but notice there is a change in tone, in direction, and in expectation in the middle of it. Verse 19 says, “But you, LORD, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.”

    There is a change in expectation from the present devastation to the anticipation of a champion in the wings. Verse 22, “I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you.” This Psalm moves from complete and utter despair to a declaration of praise.

    Verse 27 says, “All ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD.” We can move beyond the paralysis of helplessness. We can glimpse through red swollen eyes a light in the darkness.

    It may not be this generation or even the next generation but verse 30 says, “Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the LORD.” The will be a time when all that is unjust, all that is atrocious, all that reeks of humanities darker side will end. And not just end but will be wiped away, like our tears from undiminished sorrow, a new world with emerge. A world which will acknowledge God, and honor God, and embrace the salvation he brought for us. God will make it happen because as it says in verse 31, “He has done it!”

    This is my only wish, this is my only dream, this is my only hope that Jesus will come and save us from ourselves before we destroy all that is good in this world. This is the message of the Psalm that Jesus recited on the cross, not just because he articulated his sense of despair, but because it leads us to the only true hope we can have, a hope in God’s love for his world and the people therein.

    Come, Lord Jesus, Maranatha,

    Pastor Randy

 
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