Wednesday, October 05, 2005

God With Us

Psalm 22:24 in the NRSV reads,
For he did not despise or abhor
the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
but heard when I cried to him.
This is a mistranslation, as the footnotes admit, but it is a felicitous mistranslation. The second half of the verse should actually read "he did not hide his face from him, but heard when he cried to him.

Through this Word, God gave me such a wonderful blessing today. I was meditating on this verse, considering how it is the very things in which we need God most that cause us to hide from him, but rejoicing in the fact that he does not hide from us, but comes to us in our affliction and weakness. This led me naturally to the cross, which was nearby already as I was in Psalm 22. And then I noticed the footnotes.

Consider this verse in terms of the crucifixion and Christ taking our affliction, our weakness, our sin upon himself. And now try to read the verse with the 'me' and the 'him' superimposed on one another and also the 'I' and the 'he'. "He did not hide his face from me/him; but heard when I/he cried to him."

I doubt that I can convey in a few words here the sweetness that I saw in this. It's one of those things that I knew already, intellectually, but was nevertheless a powerful revelation. I saw how on the cross, Christ was united with me. When he cried out, it was me crying out. And when God heard his cry, it was my cry he heard. And whenever I call to God in my weakness, it is Christ on the cross crying out to God. And God hears. And not just me, but everyone. And this led me into the most wonderful intercessory prayer as the lives of those I know who are suffering came into my mind, and I knew how God hears them.

"What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul."


3 comments:

*Christopher said...

Mel,

Thanks for this meditation. It was just what the Doctor ordered.

BTW: Did I mention my supervisor is a Melanchton scholar? And our upcoming Luther Lecture is by another such...

Andy said...

I wish I could be a Melanchthon scholar. My actual job is about that esoteric, but not nearly as cool.

LutheranChik said...

Mel -- I just had a mini-metanoia. Thank you. I needed to read that psalm today.