Sharing our Struggles
The psalms are such an important (and often overlooked) part of our worship each Sunday. There are 150 psalms and fully one-third of them are laments, either individual or communal expressions of suffering and trust in God's provision. The fact that these laments are a part of our tradition is very reassuring because it gives us a vehicle for expressing our sorrow.
This Sunday's psalm is a portion of Psalm 137 which begins,
By the waters of Babylon--
there we sat down and there
when we remembered Zion.
Whenever I read these words, I hear the voice of Linda Ronstadt in my head. When I was little, my older sister would play the album with Ronstadt's rendition of this song often. Other musicians have recorded it as well, from the Jamaican reggae group the Melodians to country music artists Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. The psalm has also inspired writers from Fyodor Dostoevsky to William Faulkner.
This ancient psalm gives voice to sorrow and longing in such a soulful way. It speaks to something universal, our need to share our struggles and our need for God's response. It's easy to see why it cries out for contemporary artistic expression.
I look forward to reflecting on the importance of sharing our struggles and trusting in God's response this Sunday.
Yours in Christ,