Reflecting on Psalm 24 in the light of this year’s theme, ‘Waiting in Hope’, I find myself humbly questioning the relevance of this biblical passage to our present-day circumstances. In the last few short years, we have weathered a global pandemic, watched from afar the senseless war in Ukraine, and experienced the plague of catastrophic environmental events; in response, it seems that h-o-p-e is the only answer for the future.
We hope for change, for redemption, for a reprieve from the onslaught that plagues humanity. Yet, the psalm says, “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it; the world and those who live in it.” So, surely this indicates that we are His and that all will be well. If we have “clean hands” and “pure hearts,” our troubles will be vindicated by the Lord of salvation. Thus, during Advent, we wait in anticipation for the Divine to come, and for hope to sing its triumph.
“Hope is the thing with feathers –
It perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops at all – …”
(From The Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by R.W. Franklin, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press: 1998.)
Sharleen A. McCorrister