The psalm refrain for today from Psalm 102 is so direct and familiar. The psalmist begs: O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you! This morning I heard it as a call from Jesus as he moved toward Jerusalem. He must have had days when he wondered about God’s purpose for his life – those days when everything he had done seemed futile because the crowds were so slow to recognize the deep meaning of what he was teaching. Psalm 102 rocks back and forth between deep anguish and steadfast faith, not just about his own destiny but that of all God’s people. Thinking this way does not make Jesus less strong in my eyes, but more human and accessible on the days when today’s world seems on the brink of disaster. There is a beautiful translation of the middle verses of the psalm – one might say “the heart” of it all – where I believe Jesus called up the strength to stand steadfast in all that was to come. May we join him in the prayer.
But you, O you remain, my God; your name endures from age to age. For from eternity and into time your mercies rise, each moment your compassion appears in full. And even in these ruins of the heart it moves, and we your servants, Lord, are stirred to love and care for even dust. The peoples of the world shall come at last to speak your name with awe. The rulers of the heart shall see your beauty and finally comprehend. For you, O Lord, will take the ruined places of our world and lovingly will raise them back again, for you have heard the cries of all the broken-hearted ones, and answering, you give them each a place to be and stand. Let this be written now so in generations yet to come, our children will hear and learn to praise. For from a vantage point beyond this world you view us all and understand. (vs. 13-20)