By Barbara Higdon
Psalm 105:1-11, 37-45
In the Christian calendar, Lent is generally a time for solemn reflection on God’s sacrifice on the cross to save us from ourselves. Beginning with the marking of ashes from the burned palms similar to those that once waved at the Messiah as he entered Jerusalem, we are reminded that this was a road leading to a terrible death. How quickly the hosannas turned to hisses and boos.
Throughout Lent, many Christians give up favorite foods or activities to suffer symbolically with their Christ. Churches do not sing hymns of hallelujahs, waiting until Easter Sunday. It is a darker time in our calendar.
The passages from Psalm 105 seem to ring wrong as we journey to the cross. These words from David are filled with praises and reminders of what God has done for his people. Action verbs recount how a faithful God has time and again provided for His people. “He IS the Lord our God.” “He remembers his covenant forever…” “He confirmed…” “He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold…” “He spread…” “He brought…” “He fed…” “He gave…” These strong statements remind us of how strong and faithful our God is.
Yes, it is important to remember Christ’s suffering and supreme sacrifice. Yes, that sense of our unworthiness isn’t inappropriate. Yes, that sadness is legitimate.
However, I don’t think God wants us to wallow in sorrow. Even in the Last Supper, when Jesus asked the disciples to remember Him, I think he wanted them to remember the good things, too. Our pastor once reminded the deacons who were serving Communion that we needn’t look like we’re at a funeral. Every meal is a gift of God that we should recall with gratitude and happiness.
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.” This is a command to be filled with joy and share the great news. Laugh and sing, for we are the children of a loving God who welcomes all and provides abundantly. He remembers His covenants; let us remember ours with Him.