By Sarah Cornwell
Reading from Psalm 92
1 It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord,
and to sing praises to your Name, O Most High;
2 To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning
and of your faithfulness in the night season;
3 On the psaltery, and on the lyre,
and to the melody of the harp.
4 For you have made me glad by your acts, O Lord;
and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.
5 Lord, how great are your works!
your thoughts are very deep.
6 The dullard does not know,
nor does the fool understand,
that though the wicked grow like weeds,
and all the workers of iniquity flourish,
7 They flourish only to be destroyed for ever;
but you, O Lord, are exalted for evermore.
8 For lo, your enemies, O Lord,
lo, your enemies shall perish,
and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
9 But my horn you have exalted like the horns of wild bulls;
I am anointed with fresh oil.
10 My eyes also gloat over my enemies,
and my ears rejoice to hear the doom of the wicked who rise up against me.
11 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon.
12 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God;
13 They shall still bear fruit in old age;
they shall be green and succulent;
14 That they may show how upright the Lord is,
my Rock, in whom there is no fault.
The psalmist entreats us to tell of the Lord’s loving-kindness early in the morning and of his faithfulness in the night season. This seems to be a pretty tall order in a world buckling under the weight of fear, disease, isolation, poverty, and violence. If the psalmist told us to tell of these things, we’d have no trouble at all, as they are so often on our lips and plague our thoughts. Where do we look for examples of the Lord’s loving-kindness?
First we can look at the scripture readings for today. In the book of Esther, it’s been terribly likely that the Jews and Esther would all be killed, and yet today, we find that God delivers his people and thwarts Haman’s wicked plot. We also learn that, after risking her life to enter the enemy’s camp, Judith slays Holofernes and returns safely home. In the gospel reading, Jesus rebukes and calls out a violent demon, leaving the man himself unharmed. And in Acts, a riot is quelled peaceably, and those who wish their voices to be heard get their chance to do so in court.
These events are from millennia ago, but are these examples of God’s deliverance so unrelatable? Fear, the threat of violence, the need for healing, and individuals having to walk a dangerous path in order to alleviate suffering and injustice — all of these stories seem to be heading for a dark conclusion. And then deliverance is at hand.
The light is coming, brothers and sisters. Until then, continue to reflect on — and trust in — God’s continual loving kindness in the morning and his faithfulness in the evening. God has shown again and again: Post tenebras lux. After darkness, light.
Sarah Cornwell is a laywoman, ballet teacher, and an associate of the Eastern Province of the Community of St. Mary. She and her husband have five children and they live in the Hudson Valley north of New York City.
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