‘Out of the depths we cry’ (Psalm 130)
We prayed the words together, at our last face-to-face gathering for worship in the church on Sunday 22nd March.
Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of our supplications!
Lord, hear the cry of our hearts!
We wait for the Lord; our souls wait:
And in God’s Word we hope.
Our souls wait for the Lord, more than those who watch for the morning;
More than those who watch for the morning.
O people of God, hope in the Lord!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
And with God is great power to redeem.
Lent is traditionally a time to rediscover or hone our spiritual disciplines: those intentional practices that mould us in the cruciform – cross-shaped – way of Christ.
Fasting, prayer and giving are the three traditional Lenten disciplines. Today’s reading suggests another: the discipline of waiting. Waiting in hope. Holding in tension the cry from the depths – the heart-cry of guilt, or grief, or danger, or doubt, or loneliness, or pain, or injustice – with the fragile, life-giving cry of faith and trust. Because with the Lord there is steadfast love; with God, there is great power to redeem.
Who has not tossed and turned, or paced the floor, or pressed their forehead against the window pane, through hour after hour of darkness, longing for the first hint of pre-dawn glow to signal that the long night is finally over?
In so many matters of human brokenness – even as we do our best to love and help and support each other and our neighbour – there is nothing we can really do but wait, in hope, for God’s redemptive intervention.
And so it is in this time of coronavirus (COVID-19)… Our souls wait…
In this Sunday’s Gospel reading (John 11: 1-45) restoration and renewal flood a tomb with in-breaking light. ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ is the cry… And our souls wait, with a new hope. God is with us. Resurrection happens.
And faintly now, from the deepest darkness ahead of us on our Lenten journey, there echoes the deepest of all cries from the depths: a cry from a cross: ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ – ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’
With the Lord there is steadfast love; with God, there is great power to redeem. Not despite the cry of Jesus Christ crucified, but because of it.
Our souls wait with the deepest of all hope… We wait for the morning, knowing that the Sun will rise.
[Adapted by permission from a reflection originally written by Rev. Claire Wright for this week’s With Love to the World, Vol 16. No 2. www.withlovetotheworld.org.au]