March 2, 2009

cry out

In his new book, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, Rob Bell (with Don Golden) breaks down the story of salvation history into a series of four repeating events; oppression, crying out, redemption, triumphalism (my paraphrase). 

I am struck by the lectionary for Sunday and just how that four-fold cycle plays out over and over and over again.

Ps 22.23 - "For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them; * but when they cry to him he hears them.

In the Collect, we cry out, "O God,... be gracious..."

Our poverty is not that of material things, despite what talking heads on CNN tell us.  Our poverty is that of Peter, we can't see the plan.  Our ways are not God's ways.  Our poverty is that we have gone astray, focused on our own devices and desires and now, in the midst of crisis, we cry out, "O God..."

Be assured, however, that God hears our cry.  Just as he heard the cry of Abram and made him the father of many nations, so too God hears our cry.  Our restoration won't necessarily look like we want it to.  It might mean 40 years in the desert, or 40 days in the wilderness, or 24 hours of a sham trial and death on a cross, but God will hear our cry.  So go ahead, cry out!

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