Psalm 23- A Psalm of Resurrection and Hope

Grace and peace to you,

My sisters and brothers in Christ

In this Lenten journey

Our lamenting and praying

Asks of the Creator

Shephard us O God,

Beyond our wants

Beyond our needs

From Death into Life

Amen

(pause)

One of my dear colleagues,

And fellow alums of LSTC

Posted this on his Facebook page:

“The thing about death,

Is that there’s always

Resurrection.

Even if it doesn’t look the same,

There is new life

That

Emerges

(pause)

Alex’s words,

Are truth

Because

I have been,

For the past three weeks

Stumbling through

The valley

Of the shadow of death,

Groping blindly

Stretching out my hands

For God’s Presence

At the foot of the cross

Because

At the foot of the cross

Is where

I have found,

New Life

Renewal of Life

Purpose for all of our lives

(pause)

The Theology of the Cross,

Has been

The cornerstone

On which I have stood,

And where I feel,

Psalm 23 is embedded

Because it is here,

Throughout what we suffer

This is where the Creator God is revealed!

The theology of the Cross says

That there is this radical

Revelation of God

And

Our Faith in God.

God

Reaffirms

God’s Care for us

Regardless

And so,

When we are walking through that valley,

Blind

We are not alone,

When we are in the midst our enemies

Ostracizing us because of our disabilities-

Equating our disabilities

With lack of faith

Or evidence of sin,

Just as those who condemned the blind man,

In our Gospel this morning

God not only is present,

BUT HEALS US

Publicly,

So that our enemies understand,

Who holds all of our lives

(pause)

And if we look at this,

From a historical, Biblical view

In the context of the ancient Jewish Faith

That was a human concept,

This idea of the sins of the parents

Transferred to undue suffering

For the children

It is the same human misunderstanding,

Misinterpretation and twisting of sacred Words

That led to the enslavement

Of a Nation,

When Noah invoked the Curse of Haam

Upon Haam’s son

Damning him and his descendants

To a life

Of subhuman status

(pause)

Here,

In our Gospel,

However,

Jesus does not condemn this man,

For his blindness

Or for those so-called sins

But,

Calls out those

For their spiritual blindness

“I came into this world for judgement,

So that does who do not see,

May see,

And those who see,

Become blind.”

(pause)

The Pharisees were so rigid

About the Law

That they forgot the lessons

That the prophets continued to profess

That regardless of what happens in this life,

Whether we are exiled

Or ridiculed for our faith

Or who we are

Or what direction we go

Or how far we may fall,

God

Is

Still

Here

Loving

US!

How interesting it is,

That there are those,

Who attempt to dictate

Who will be healed

And when

Based on so-called humanity’s power,

Which based in nothing,

Is weak.

They refuse

To open their eyes

To the Grace and Mercy of God

(pause)

Jesus Christ,

In Jesus

Everything is new,

Therefore

When we are suffering,

Stumbling

Blindly

Because we feel

That we have lost everything

That our journey in life,

Leaves us jaded

God is still present

The Cross is still present

And we can be healed!

And because of our healing,

Because we are able to lean on God

“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me”

We in turn have the right,

To speak

To witness

To live out our Faith

To exude our righteous anger

Because this is what God calls us to!

(pause)

Dr. James Cone interpretation of Luther’s

Theologias Cruics says,

“God encounters us

In the human condition

As the liberator of the poor”

We keep forgetting that all of these parables

And stories

In Scripture

Are about POOR PEOPLE

People on the Margins,

Lepers

Those beyond the gate

And THIS IS WHERE JESUS COMES!!

“As the liberator of the poor and weak,

Empowering them to FIGHT

For freedom

Because they were made for it.”

Jesus does not come to coddle the rich,

The wealthy

The 1%

Jesus comes in the midst of suffering

And restores our soul

And because Jesus makes His presence known,

We don’t fear anything

We are overwhelmed

With the Holy Spirit

Who lets us know,

We will be alright!

(pause)

So we can imagine

This blind unnamed man

Healed,

Singing this ancient Psalm

Because

Everything,

About this Psalm

Proclaims

The Good News

Of

Jesus Christ!

The Good News is that

We as people of faith,

Lack for nothing

Because Jesus is, was and continues to be

The first and the last,

Transforming an abrupt end,

To a continuous journey of LIFE!

The Good News is,

That Jesus comes from God

Jesus is a gift from God

“If this man were not from God,

He could do nothing!”

(pause)

And its so strange

That this Psalm

Is only shared

And spoken

In those moments

Of death

And yes,

As I stood by the bedside

Of my Sista Deie

As I did the Commendation for the Dying

For her

I read Psalm 23

(pause)

But

There is truth,

In what my friend Alex said

Because early Thursday morning,

My dear friend Deirdre passed

From this life

Into Ancestorhood

And from those ashes,

There is Life!

(pause)

Just as the Creator gathered Deie

Welcomed her among the Ancestors,

The Creator too,

Gathered those of us who mourn

And new community, new bonds were created

So that we have the ability to honor Deie

By continuing her work,

Of speaking truth, living out our faith

Causing righteous and holy chaos,

Laughing and continuing to be in community with one another.

(pause)

Death,

Death has no power

When there is death of a relationship,

Or a job,

Or even a life,

The Good News is,

There is Jesus

Transforming death

The Cross

Into LIFE!

Thanks Be to God.

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