Psalm 30 is the appointed Psalm for the 3rd Sunday of Easter. Verses 11 and 12 say, “You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.” This was the focus of Amanda Sabelko’s reflection on Tuesday of the second week of Easter. In her reflection she identifies the Psalmist’s recognition of God at work in the midst of human life.
When I was a pre-teen my godfather created and sold bright orange t-shirts that had a diamond shaped road sign outlined on them in black. Inside the shape were the words “God at Work”. The words of the Psalmist and Rev. Sabelko’s reflection rang true to me, especially when I remembered those t-shirts.
The Psalmist is testifying to the reality of “God at Work” in our everyday lives. Through all of the things we face in the ins and outs and ups and downs of our lives, God is present. More than that “God listens and answers our cries for help.” In Psalm 30 the psalmist gives praise and thanks to God for all God has done and will do.
Many of us are prone to ask God for help, especially in the midst of painful and distressing times. Sometimes it is hard to really believe that God is truly present in those moments - hard to really believe that God will answer those things we ask; particularly when we are “in” those moments.
But after some time - more often than not - I believe we can look back on those moments as tragic and painful as they may be and see that God WAS and IS there. We can find where God was holding us up, comforting us, helping us to endure and to survive whatever it is we may face. That, of course, is not to say that it is easy or will not be a struggle. But I can declare that I have felt God’s presence time and time again in the deepest ways when I am most vulnerable.
This is to say that in the aftermath—and often even in the midst of—God is always present. For that I don’t have the words to express my joy and thankfulness for what God has done and will continue to do.
Often, when we have finished dinner at night at our house, we have impromptu dance parties. They are, like the Psalmists’ dancing, a celebration of joy and praise for all that we are thankful for because words will just not do. God has “Turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.”
Fr. Will +
Amanda Sabelko is a Deacon at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kasson, MN.