Psalm 130 - In God’s word I hope

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in God's word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
Psalm 130 (NRSV)
5th Sunday of Lent, year A
Proper 5, Year B, Sunday between June 5 and June 11
Proper 8, Year B, Sunday between June 26 and July 2
Proper 14, Year B, Proper 14, Sunday between August 7 and August 13

Sometimes "the depths" is when you're having a bad day. And sometimes the depths are really deep.

Wherever your depths are, don't bother measuring how deep. Just cry to the Lord.

Cry out your pain. Cry out your failings. Cry out your despair. Cry out anything else that is on your mind, your heart, your soul.

And notice who you are calling to. The one with the power to mark iniquities. And the one in whom there is forgiveness.

You can get into the depths quickly, or it can be the result of a long, hard fall. Once you realize you are in a deep hole, you seldom get out of it quickly. There is no "Rapture," no "Beam, me up, Scotty." There is hard work (yours and often others') to do the heavy lifting or make a new path up out of the depths. The psalm knows this, which is why it is honest about waiting for the Lord.

In God's word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning...

Truths can become trite when repeated casually - "It is darkest before the dawn." But if you have kept vigil over another, if you have been waiting for help or rescue or news of a loved one’s safety, you know about the waiting, the hoping that things will work out, the watch for the morning's dawn.

Sometimes what we wait for does not come to pass. The loved one dies despite all efforts. The cancer has spread. The sentence is harsh, the loan foreclosed, the marriage broken beyond repair.

Out of the depths I cry, O Lord, in your word, I hope.

There is holiness in the cry which rises to God. And in the hope, which goes deeper than the deepest depth to which you can fall. God's word does not promise that everything's gonna be alright. But that God will be with us, and will see us through to a deliverance that is in God’s own merciful hands. "The Lord has promised good to me, God’s word my hope secures," sings the hymn, and the fullness of God’s word is on its way. In that, we hope.

Credits:
Ed Dunens, Dawn, Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia. (CC BY 2.0).

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