A Journey Through the Psalms: Reflections for Worried Hearts and Troubled Times
Preaching the Psalms Cycles A, B, C
The opening words of this psalm are the same ones uttered by Jesus as he hung near death on the cross. They are etched across the collective memory of millions who trace his footsteps to Golgotha. Who could blame him for such an outburst? He had been betrayed, arrested, and handed over to the authorities to be tortured. We can be sure that with these folk there was no mincing debates about water boarding. This guy was tortured. No question about it. On top of that he had to carry the instrument of his death on his own back while the fickle crowds jeered and cheered.
Wilton Lewis stood with his hands on his hips, studying the sanctuary wall, not trusting himself to speak. He wanted to spit, was thwarted by the fact that he was inside, and instead swallowed hard and said, “This is vile. Disgusting and vile.” He turned to his right and added, “I apologize, Reverend Cashmore. This does not represent the good people of Port William. You know that, I hope.”
Since Albert Einstein is considered the genius above all geniuses, he is often credited quotes he never said. (If Einstein said it, it must be true.) That includes the saying that insanity is defined as doing the same thing again and again and expecting to get a different result. Actually, it wasn't until the 1980's that he was first connected to that saying, but it doesn't matter who actually said it, because these three scriptures seem to validate the saying.
Seven years ago, our family moved from southern Virginia to northeast Wisconsin. As you might expect, spring comes later here. Fall comes earlier. And winter is a much different experience in northeast Wisconsin than it was in southern Virginia. The same temperatures that seemed bone-chilling in Virginia are good reason to leave the mufflers and mittens at home in Wisconsin. Of course, many of the retired folks in my congregation here take their cue from the geese and fly south for the winter each year.