Key Text

Psalm 88

O LORD, God of my salvation, when, at night, I cry out in your presence, let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry. For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I am like those who have no help, like those forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.

You have put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah

You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a thing of horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape; my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call on you, O LORD; I spread out my hands to you. Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise you? Selah

Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon? Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?

But I, O LORD, cry out to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. O LORD, why do you cast me off? Why do you hide your face from me? Wretched and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am desperate. Your wrath has swept over me; your dread assaults destroy me. They surround me like a flood all day long; from all sides they close in on me. You have caused friend and neighbor to shun me; my companions are in darkness.

cited from NRSV

 

Image of the week

 

The Scream
(or The Cry)
Edvard Munch

1893; Casein/waxed crayon and tempera on paper (cardboard), 91 x 73.5 cm (35 7/8 x 29"); Nasjonalgalleriet (National Gallery), Oslo

Original link

For last week's image, click here.

 

Present Context

For Reflection

Images of the devastation in Southern Asia continue to challenge our perspective of God's work in the world, our understanding of the forces of nature, and the depth and breadth of suffering at hand.

The destruction of whole villages, entire families, and random individuals of every age has left a trail of pain and anguish which the West has not seen on its own doorstep since WW2.

We pray:
Almighty and gracious God, we come to you with our hearts full of prayers both spoken and those that cannot be put into words. As the ancient psalmist wrote You are our refuge and strength, the light in the darkness, and so with confidence we offer our prayers to you for a world shaken by violent powerful forces beneath the ocean and terrifying destructive tidal waves or tsunamis.

Amen.

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