Friday, June 26, 2009

From Tears to Triumph



On Friday mornings, at CPE, I have a Bible study with the residents of one of the memory support areas of a retirement community. Today was the best ever. I had such a sense of God's presence with us. People that normally are not engaged in the singing were singing their hearts out. There was even joy in their eyes.

The lesson was from Psalm 30 in The Message translation.

Psalm 30

1 I give you all the credit, God— you got me out of that mess,
you didn't let my foes gloat.

2-3 God, my God, I yelled for help
and you put me together.
God, you pulled me out of the grave,
gave me another chance at life
when I was down-and-out.

4-5 All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God!
Thank him to his face!
He gets angry once in a while, but across
a lifetime there is only love.
The nights of crying your eyes out
give way to days of laughter.

6-7 When things were going great
I crowed, "I've got it made.
I'm God's favorite.
He made me king of the mountain."
Then you looked the other way
and I fell to pieces.

8-10 I called out to you, God;
I laid my case before you:
"Can you sell me for a profit when I'm dead?
auction me off at a cemetery yard sale?
When I'm 'dust to dust' my songs
and stories of you won't sell.
So listen! and be kind!
Help me out of this!"

11-12 You did it: you changed wild lament
into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
and decked me with wildflowers.
I'm about to burst with song;
I can't keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
I can't thank you enough.


Here are a few observations I shared both on Wed. for devotions and today in Bible study:

The Psalmist passionately expresses his experiences of crisis, prayer, and deliverance.

· Maybe the crisis was sickness and he felt near death?

o Have any of us ever been in such a crisis?

o Perhaps that’s our situation now.

· The psalmist prayed for God’s help

o Do we cry out for God’s help... or do we think our crisis isn’t important enough to bother God?

· God delivered the psalmist from his problems.

o Do we believe God will hear and answer our prayers?

In the last verses, the psalmist renews the promise of thanksgiving

· He has a new perspective of gratitude

o What is our perspective?

o Are we as anxious as the psalmist to tell of God’s mighty deeds?

o Or is our faith just a private matter?

· Listen once more to the vibrant imagery of these last verses.

o 11-12 You did it: you changed wild lament
into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
and decked me with wildflowers.
I'm about to burst with song;
I can't keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
I can't thank you enough.

Let us pray:

O God, our Guardian and Guide, we trust in You daily for life and strength to serve You with faith, hope, and love. We will praise You in the morning and throughout the day. We will praise You in the evening, and trust in You day and night. We depend on Your Word and precious promises as we pray in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, “Our Father. . .”

Prayer from http://psalmsandprayers.com/psalm30.htm


To illustrate the lesson from Psalm 30, I made up a little Power Point of pictures and showed it to each resident individually. This was very effective. It is that slide show that is below.

Tears to Triumph

4 comments:

David said...

Ivy, thanks for sharing this. It sounds like the bible study was a powerful experience for you. What did you hear or learn from the residents who gathered with you that was new or different ? Did they offer you something to inform your ministry going forward?

Ivy said...

Yes, I did hear and learn from them something new and different. And there is definitely something to inform my later ministry.

Blessings.

LawAndGospel said...

Hey Ivy- back in the blogosphere! Hope to hear more about how your ministry will be informed. At a different stage in my formation and deciding to try to blog some of my lectio divina thoughts- so stop on by. Blessings for the rest of your CPE journey

Ivy said...

Thanks for stopping by L & G. I am interested in reading what all lectio is bringing to you in this stage of the journey. Glad to have you back. Blessings.