“Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.” (Psalms 146:5 – 8)
In my weary state I mistakenly started writing about the Isaiah passage again. I was humming along appreciating all the positive and uplifting messages found there. But as I moved through the verses, they started to sound familiar and I realized my error.
So, I started over and read the first few verses of this passage from psalms. And I felt let down. It is positive news, but my heart and spirit did not sing and soar as it did with the Isaiah passage. Isaiah was back on Wednesday, and Wednesday I has something specific I wanted to talk about, and did not reveal in the promises that the writer of Isaiah is speaking to his reader about. Wednesday (or at least the day that I wrote the passage you read on Wednesday beloved reader) I felt strong and emboldened. Today I am weak, tired, aching and cold. Today I need the warmth that the passage from Isaiah promises.
So why, you may be wondering, do I find this passage lacking? In Isaiah God is acting on behave of the reader/to whom the passage is directed. There is no need of action on their part. Today’s psalm passage, while good news, assumes the listener is out there doing and being embolden by the promises of what the Lord is like. It is praises the Lord (which, don’t get me wrong) is a good thing. But there is no promises of the Lord undertaking; instead it is a description of the Lord. It is like the psalmist is watching the Lord act and pointing out what the Lord does much like a commentator at an event.
“The LORD watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” (Verse 9)
“Watch the Lord” the psalmist says, “see the Divine run interference for the marginalized, the poor and impoverished.” “Isn’t the Lord great!”, the psalmist says.
“The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD!” (Verse 10)
The Lord is great. Praise the Lord. But the Lord is up there/over there doing all those great things. And here I am in my life, over here/down here, and I am tired, weary, in pain & cold. Not feeling the praise power.
That, THAT is why there is Jesus Christ. That is why Jesus was sent to humanity, to be with humanity, and to suffer as humanity does. That is why Jesus! Jesus knew what it was like to be tired, weary, in pain & cold. And if it takes my revealing my weakness & suffering to help you, beloved reader, to understand why Jesus coming to humanity is so important, then what I am going through has served a good purpose. Shalom!