The nations shall fear your Name, O Lord,
and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion,
and his glory will appear.
He will look with favor on the prayer of the homeless;
he will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation,
so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord.
For the Lord looked down from his holy place on high;
from the heavens he beheld the earth;
That he might hear the groan of the captive
and set free those condemned to die;
That they may declare in Zion the Name of the Lord,
and his praise in Jerusalem;
When the peoples are gathered together,
and the kingdoms also, to serve the Lord.
As we set out on our Lenten journey back in February, I don’t think many of us could have imagined what would unfold during the month of March. A pandemic sweeps the United States, our church buildings are closed, and our lives have been disrupted indefinitely. I am sure many of our Lenten disciplines have been broken due to unavailability or need. It’s strange to think that we won’t be able to gather at the corner of 16th and H in a few weeks to sing “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.”
Today’s Psalm really struck me for its relevance to this “Coronatide.” We’re hearing about “stay-home” orders, but many members of our community do not have permanent housing. We’re being told to socially distance from one-another, but many members of our community are held captive in jails and detention centers throughout the country. As we struggle to grapple with these issues, the Psalmist reminds us that God looks with favor on the prayer of the homeless and “hears the groan of the captive.” This fact is repeated in the Psalms, and God’s message to those on the margins is particularly important to remember as we prepare for Holy Week.
Appointed readings for today: