The Psalms of Advent, December 14, 2022
You are invited to light a candle and join me as we finish sitting with Psalm 42 this morning. You may find this psalm at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2042&version=NRSVUE. My favorite verse in all of the psalms is found in this one, where “deep calls to deep” (verse 7). Within each one of us, at the core of our very being, is a Source that birthed us all, that unites us all, that loves us all. That core goes by many names including heart, soul, spirit, being. It is our private sanctuary, our Holy of Holies, where our greatest griefs, our most powerful fears, our most joyful experiences commune with the Holy. Anything and everything is contained and deemed sacred and worthy here.
In this single psalm, #42, the psalmist experiences the myriad of emotions found throughout the Book of Psalms where deep communes with deep:
Deep desire: “My soul longs for you, O God” (vs.1);
Deep questioning: “When shall I come and behold the face of God?” (vs. 2);
Deep grief: “My tears have been my food night and day” (vs. 3);
Deep tension: “Where is your God?” (vs. 3):
Deep memories: “I remember as I pour out my soul” (vs. 4);
Deep joy: “with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving” (vs. 4);
Deep despair: “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” (vs. 5);
Deep faithful resolve: “Hope in God” (vs.5).
Yes, Psalm 42 underscores the barebone honesty where “deep calls to deep” with the conviction that in doing so, the relational connection between human and Divine never wavers. There simply is no situation too deep for God’s presence, too barren of hope, which is why this psalmist, in the midst of depression and loss, can proclaim:
“By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life” (vs. 8).
As we leave this psalm of Advent, I wonder what is deep within you? What is it that you thirst for? Have you found satisfaction for that thirst? In what or whom do you place hope when all seems buried in shadows? How might these ancient words of an ancient psalmist touch you in the place where your deep calls to deep?
Blessings ~ Rosemary
Photo credit: Rosemary McMahan