Praise the Lord! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The Lord lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre. He covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, and makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the animals their food, and to the young ravens when they cry. His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner; but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. – Psalm 147:1-11
During this season of Lent as we journey with Christ to the cross, we are acutely aware of its dangers and perils. This journey to Jerusalem is wrought with plots and schemes against the one we follow. This journey entails betrayal, denial, humiliation and death. This journey ends with the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior.
As we walk with Christ on this treacherous road, how comforting it is to read the words of this psalm and to remember with whom it is that we journey. God does not forsake us, but rather gathers the outcasts, heals the brokenhearted and binds up the wounded. Our God who is wise and powerful, who has numbered the stars and named them, is also compassionate and just, lifting up the downtrodden and caring for those who are forced to the margins of society.
These forty days and forty nights as we fast from the things of this world, let us also feast on the goodness of God. Just as the psalmist declares, our God is good and worthy of our praise!
Though this journey with Christ is filled with fear and uncertainty, we can trust in our God who will be with us through it all. We can trust that we are safe in God’s wisdom and power, love and compassion, even in our darkest moments of life and death. For we know that, “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-29). Let us turn towards Jerusalem knowing that we go with God’s provision and care.
Rev. Joann Haejong Lee, a 2008 McCormick graduate, is the Associate Pastor for Family and Young Adult Ministries at the House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, MN.]]>