Psalms 4, 5, 22
Pastor Lisa’s Journal
For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.
– Psalm 22:24
Mourning includes more than anger and sorrow. Mourning can include a feeling of vulnerability after we have been hurt. We feel like a target. Now that such a hurt has happened, we wonder if it will happen again. We feel unprotected in a hurtful, dangerous world, wondering whom we can trust.
– Flora Slosson Wuellner, Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey
The word vulnerable itself comes from the Latin vulnerare which means ‘to wound’, and so at the root of vulnerability is my own sense of wounded-ness. To be authentic in a moment in which I feel wounded, I have to honestly acknowledge the places where I feel hurt and then muster up the strength to just be with the pain. This takes tremendous courage.- Viral Mehta
Psalm 22 is Good Friday’s psalm. Though they were written hundreds of years earlier, verses 12-18 seem to be written by someone standing on that hill recording the events: the brutal soldiers and mocking crowd encircling Jesus, the description of his broken body, the people gambling for his clothes.
This sets the stage for the central mystery: God in the flesh hanging on the cross crying out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
His tongue is so swollen and he is so exhausted it’s all he can manage to say. The beauty of it is, it’s all he needs to say. As he cries out the first lines of the psalm, those who know it would have finished it for him in their hearts. They would have understood the fullness of his words: the reality of his pain and the reality of his confidence in God in the midst of that pain.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame. (vs. 3-5)
Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast. (vs. 9)
Then the glorious song of triumph and praise in verses 20b-31:
- the Lord rescued me
- I will testify and praise the Lord. Let us all praise the Lord.
- God hears the cries of the afflicted. God raises up needy and provides for the poor.
- God rules the nations. All who are now living and all future generations will remember this moment of grace and power and will bow down.
Psalm 22 is brutally honest; a raw combination of wondering, reporting and confidence. A worthy model for prayer.
Glorious Jesus, even on the cross you continue to teach us and care for us. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for your sacrifice and suffering. Thank you for your victory and power. Help us to follow you, at all times and in all situations, honestly and confidently. Amen.
You are invited to join me on a summer adventure through one of the most beloved books in the Bible, Psalms. To download the Summer in the Psalms reading plan, click here Psalms Reading Plan
As you read, you are encouraged to use the SOAP Method for keeping a spiritual journal, as taught at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii. For more information on this simple and powerful way of engaging the Word of God, please click here or use the simple instructions provided in the reading plan itself.
I look forward to reading your comments and to all that Jesus will do in you and through you as you seek him this summer. – Lisa <><
PS- For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.