04 April 2015

Holy Saturday

Somewhere on the Internet today--I can't remember where--I read two verses from Psalm 88:
I spread out my hands to you /  Do you work wonders for the dead? /  Do the departed rise up to praise you?    Selah    //  Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, / or your faithfulness in Abaddon?     
A text in its tone of despair that is appropriate for Holy Saturday, the day in which the uncomprehending followers of Jesus felt that and little else. You can read the entirety of Psalm 88 here. The verses quoted above aren't out of place for there is no resolution to the theme of lament.

Go here to listen to a sung version of Psalm 88. It may not be quite doleful enough for the text but it gives some sense of the meaning of the words.

I doubt that I've sung Psalm 88 in a worship service. Indeed, I suspect very few have, Yet it's crucial to remember that what passes for Christian worship today, at least in the American evangelical version of worship, is woefully incomplete. Penitence and lament are as much of the fullness of human life today as they were over 2000 years ago.

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