Lectio Divina for April 21st

April 21, 2011

Psalm 118: 18 “The LORD has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death.” Tornadoes wreaked havoc over much of the southeastern United States last weekend. One of our reporters here in eastern North Carolina said that the track of destruction looked “like a giant bear claw had scratched and clawed across the land.” When I went over to one of the hardest his neighborhoods on Monday with a group from the elementary school where many of these students are bussed, it looked like a bomb had hit the area. In North Carolina, we know a lot about hurricanes. It’s the tornado that surprises us, even though we are becoming known as the tornado alley of the east. One block from the destruction life goes on pretty normally. It is easy to dismiss the pain when it is not on our street and in our face. For the family of the four children killed in the Stonybrook area of Raleigh, the pain will not likely ever go away. Death is stunning, especially when people are trying to do the right things – like going to the most secure room in the home. Daniel, 8, had just been awarded the “Good Judgment” Character Award in his school. He exhibited just that when he took his cousins into the closet with him. They never came out. In such question as “why?” we can only turn to God for a word of comfort and hope. The psalmist speaks of the severity of suffering that has been endured. But in the end, the psalmist affirms that God does not give us over to death – even death in the claws of the bear. Death does not win in the end. That is the message of Resurrection, the Good News we proclaim and claim. The psalmist ends the lament with words of assurance for those who know suffering this day.      “Save us, we ask…. O give thanks to the LORD, for God is good/ God’s steadfast love endures forever.”  

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