Psalm 33: 1-5, 20-22
Song of Songs 2: 8-14
Luke 1: 39-45
These readings are about praise and rejoicing, trusting in God’s love and mercy. If we associate praise and rejoicing with outward circumstances, this can be very hard to do. Being in a praising community can help carry us when we ourselves cannot sing a joyful song. We can also practice ‘imperfect praise’ by praying that we at least wish we could sing praise given the dark, painful time we might be facing.
I believe, however, that this scriptural call to praise is not based on outward circumstances, but on knowing that we are not alone, even when it feels like we are. Our ‘joyful song’ is every gasping breath and every plodding step we take while knowing that God is with us in our breath, in this ‘song’. And then our song swells when we realize that despite, or perhaps because of these circumstances, we have grown in love and mercy. Our circumstances may not have changed, but we have changed. In our helplessness, God’s love and mercy has been able to take deeper root. This precious gift deserves a joyful song and glad praise. Thanks be to God!