Saturday, December 12, 2009

Daily Office Reflection: A Thirsting Soul

Psalms 30, 32 * 42, 43; Haggai 2:1-9; Revelation 3:1-6; Matthew 24:1-14

For EP today we are gifted two of my favorite Psalms: 42 and 43. Both Psalms are set out below for ready review. Some have asked me why I like these so much for there is some graphic, and some find off-putting, language (see 42:11-13). I find the imagery in those words far outweighed by other verses (see 42:1-2,6-7, 43:3-6).

I find in these two Psalms (that many commentators believe, at one time, to have been one) to provide the scope of a person's faith journey: desire, want, despair, questioning, resolution/faith. These Psalms, in 21 verses, run the gamut from: a deep desire to know God, a wanting to be in relationship with God, to despair that God seems to be absent in life's challenges, a questioning of one's faith and belief, and ending where we can start, at a faith that God is with us.

These are great Psalms to carry with us, to think about, during any time of the year, but in particular during Advent, this season of waiting and expectation and wonder. I commend them to you.
jfd+

Psalm 42:
1 As the deer longs for the water-brooks *
so longs my soul for you, O God.

2 My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God; *
when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

3 My tears have ben my food day and night, *
while all day long they say to me,
"Where now is your God?"

4 I pour out my soul when I think on these things; *
how I went with the multitude and led them into the house of God,

5 With the voice of praise and thanksgiving, *
among those who keep holy-day.

6 Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
and why are you so disquieted within me?

7 Put your trust in God; *
for I will yet give thanks to the One,
who is the help of my countenance and my God.

8 My soul is heavy within me; *
therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan,
and from the peak of Mizar among the heights of Hermon.

9 One deep calls to another in the noise of your cataracts; *
all your rapids and floods have gone over me.

10 The Lord grants loving-kindness in the daytime; *
in the night season God's song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

11 I will say to the God of my strength,
"Why have you forgotten me? *
and why do I go so heavily while the enemy oppresses me?"

12 While my bones are being broken, *
my enemies mock me to my face;

13 All day long they mock me, *
and say to me, "Where now is your God?"

14 Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
and why are you so disquieted within me?

15 Put your trust in God; *
for I will yet give thanks to the One,
who is the help of my countenance and my God.

Psalm 43

1 Give judgment for me, O God,
and defend my cause against an ungodly people; *
deliver me from the deceitful and the wicked.

2 For you are the God of my strength;
why have you put me from you? *
and why do I go so heavily while the enemy oppresses me?

3 Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, *
and bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling.

4 That I may go to the altar of God,
to the God of my joy and gladness; *
and on the harp I will give thanks to God, my God.

5 Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
and why are you so disquieted within me?

6 Put your trust in God; *
for I will yet give thanks to the One,
who is the help of my countenance and my God.


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