Elsa Berg and Paulette Reddel
(Confirmand and Mentor)
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11
“Just snap out of it!” If only it were that easy!
Life can send us reeling — a low test score, a difficult medical diagnosis, an unexpected loss of employment. Disappointment and insecurity leave us unsettled. Sadness just isn’t much fun.
David, our psalmist, was no stranger to pain and suffering. He had witnessed the ravages of war, the scourge of famine and disease.
During times of despair, David turned to a familiar ritual — donning sackcloth and covering himself with ashes. He acknowledged the grip sin had over him. He mourned the ways he had let God and others down.
In his pain, David cried out to God, “Help! Get me out of this!”
How about us? What becomes our sackcloth and ashes? Do we try to fill the emptiness with stuff — more money, more clothes, more house, more, more, more? Who hears our cries for help? Does God, we wonder?
During Lent we are reminded that all is not hopeless, God does not abandon us. God hears our cries loud and clear! The sackcloth is boldly pulled off. From ashes new life springs forth. Grace abounds!
Christ’s light shines brightly around us. We see a teacher’s helping hand, hear a doctor’s caring words, and accept a friend’s kind offer of help. God is present, no doubt about it!
Soon it will be time to open the closets and pull out our Easter finery — the colorful dresses, the crisp white shirts, the fancy jewelry. And don’t forget the dancing shoes — a chance to kick up our heels and dance for joy! Alleluia!
Dear God, thank-you for your presence in our lives. Your many blessings bring us hope and joy. Amen.