Morning Is Coming


Today's lectionary text comes to us from Psalm 130---the following excerpt is what was speaking to me as I read it:  

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!

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his 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.

The first thing that struck me about this psalm is that the Psalmist cries out to God "from the depths."   

From the depths of what, exactly?   The depths of despair?  The depths of suffering?  The depths as it relates to the deep, darkness between death and life? 

It's not clear exactly, but whatever the Psalmist means exactly isn't all that relevant because there's a universality to the word, isn't there?  Each of us knows our own depths, and for some of us the depths right now mean different things. 

There's the depths of fear that come from the uncertainty of our situation, and the news we keep hearing of places in the world, and even in our own country where the current health crisis is dire. 

And so we wonder if it will reach us... and when.  

Others of us have watched our life savings, our businesses, our livelihood begin to disappear overnight.  

I have friends who have already been furloughed from their jobs, or lost them outright.  I have others who are having to consider what it means to begin laying off employees or risk losing their business.  

Some of us are among the vulnerable---the ones everyone seems to be talking about right now.  We go about living our lives as best we can in isolation while the specter of the virus sweeping the nation hangs over us like a shroud. 

And so we cry out from the depths--our own depths--hoping, praying for God to hear, for God to answer, for God to do something, anything to break through this cloud of unknowing and bring us light. 

We wait like those who wait for the morning because we have been living in shadow.  We wait like those who wait for the morning because we have placed our trust in a God, whose mercies we are told will be renewed every single day.  

We wait for the morning because we know deep inside of us that morning will come.  

We wait because we believe that the dawn will break and the stones covering the depths in our lives will be rolled away because nothing... nothing... stands in the way of the God who resurrects what was left for dead.   

There is joy in the waiting if we are strong enough to embrace it.  There is joy because joy comes in the morning.  And the morning is coming, beloved.  It is coming.  

I read this beautiful line today from one of my favorite theologians, the late Henri Nouwen, who said: 
Joy is that ongoing movement out of the places of death, out of the places where things remain the same and are not moving. 
And so, beloved... wait in joy today.  Know that there are no depths too deep for God.  There are no spaces too hard for God to reach you.  Know that this too shall pass, the dawn will come, the light will shine and what you thought was beyond hope will rise again to newness of life.  

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  

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