3 Easter C
April 24, 2004
I love the LBW translation of Psalm 30. "Weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning" (v. 6) and "While I felt secure, I said 'I shall never be disturbed. You, Lord, with your favor, made me as strong as the mountains.' Then you hid your face, and I was filled with fear" (vv. 7-8).
I like this psalm so much because it gets at the back-and-forth nature of our lives with respect to whether God is paying attention or not. It begins with praise (vv 1-3), moves to an exhortation of praise from others (vv. 4-7), 'fesses up a misconception that God's favor made the psalmist immune to trouble, then recounts the cry for help, along with the reasonable reminder to God that dust, should the psalmist come to that, is not so good at declaring praise. Finally the psalmist says to God, "You have turned my wailing into dancing." Woohoo!
I don't usually preach psalms, but it might make an interesting sermon to mark each of these moves as a possible place where congregants are living on any particular Sunday morning. There is a good story here of the psalmist's ups and downs and of God's steady (if not always noticeable) presence in the midst of all that danger. Whatever people are feeling—praise, thanksgiving, fear, grief, security, the need to pull out all the stops in pleading—wherever people are at with God, this psalm has a verse that reflects something for them.