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In Psalm 44, we continued be oriented and disoriented by these songs, and the world into which they intend to draw us. This week we focused on the ways this Psalm inverts and reverses the assumed order of things, disorienting the reader, and inviting us into the silence of God. We explored our own experiences with the sacred, and how these have shaped our expectations of the sacred.
This week we delved further into our Psalms series by focusing on Psalm 44. This psalm is one of the few communal laments in the Psalter, and as such it isn't afraid to confront the hard truths of reality. Psalm 44 appears to put God on trial as the author cries out to God in frustration, demanding an explanation for why it seems God abandoned him. This continues throughout the psalm until the end, when the author attempts to motivate God to action. He asks that God save his people because the author feels that his nation did not do anything to deserve the struggles they were going through.
After analyzing the Psalm, we discussed how this psalm would have been read in a synagogue, which is a place of worship. We considered how this psalm challenges the modern notion that worship and faith are opposites to lamentation and doubt, because the Jewish people would sing this lament during their festival of lamentation as a worship service to God. We considered that there is no need to pretend to be happy during times of hardship, no need to hide sadness when you come before God and your community. Instead, we reflected on how Psalm 44 invites us to embrace life as it is, with its hardship and struggles, and reminds us that these struggles are not opposed to faith and worship, but are actually honest aspects of faith.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
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