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Read Psalm 30 

from Richard Howard, Morgantown, West Virginia

Lent is a time for personal reflection on our brokenness of relationship, especially between us and God. This Psalm reminds us that such brokenness does not have to remain a permanent disconnection. It takes note of this right from the beginning as it addresses God’s protection of the Psalmist from all foes, which comes by the restoration of the Divine-human relationship. Now, the “foes” of Psalm 30 can literally be other people, but “foes” could also be all those things, events and situations that cause confusion, sadness, even grief, that happen over the course of our lives. They could be times of sickness, the loss of loved ones through death or estrangement, even the loss of meaning or purpose in life itself. The Psalmist proclaims, however, that with petition for divine intervention, God will respond and lift us up, heal us, and restore us to wholeness. Therefore, while a being a work of personal thanksgiving, Psalm 30 also has a public dimension. It is a work of personal thanksgiving meant to be expressed within one’s faith community, in order to testify to the glory and goodness of God. It reminds us that God has chosen to enter into an interdependent relationship with creation itself – that God wants to be in relationship with us, and in turn have us embrace the love of the Divine as our own. With God in our lives, we can indeed have our mourning turn into dancing, and cast off our sackcloth to be clothed with joy. In this reflective time, let us praise God and not be silent. Let us give God thanks forever.

We praise you, O God, as a people redeemed by your love.  Now fill our lives with joy that dances the faith into your world!