Psalm 22 is set for our prayers this morning, and offers a dialogue between a voice of suffering and anguish and a voice of trust and hope that can speak to us as we suffer with present virus or care for others who do.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me, ♦
and are so far from my salvation,
from the words of my distress?
2 O my God, I cry in the daytime,
but you do not answer; ♦
and by night also, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are the Holy One, ♦
enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
4 Our forebears trusted in you; ♦
they trusted, and you delivered them.
5 They cried out to you and were delivered; ♦
they put their trust in you and were not confounded. R
6 But as for me, I am a worm and no man, ♦
scorned by all and despised by the people.
7 All who see me laugh me to scorn; ♦
they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
8 ‘He trusted in the Lord; let him deliver him; ♦
let him deliver him, if he delights in him.’
9 But it is you that took me out of the womb ♦
and laid me safe upon my mother’s breast.
10 On you was I cast ever since I was born; ♦
you are my God even from my mother’s womb.
11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near at hand ♦
and there is none to help. R
12 Mighty oxen come around me; ♦
fat bulls of Bashan close me in on every side.
13 They gape upon me with their mouths, ♦
as it were a ramping and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water;
all my bones are out of joint; ♦
my heart has become like wax
melting in the depths of my body.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd;
my tongue cleaves to my gums; ♦
you have laid me in the dust of death. R
16 For the hounds are all about me;
the pack of evildoers close in on me; ♦
they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones; ♦
they stand staring and looking upon me.
18 They divide my garments among them; ♦
they cast lots for my clothing.
19 Be not far from me, O Lord; ♦
you are my strength; hasten to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword, ♦
my poor life from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth,
from the horns of wild oxen. ♦
You have answered me! R
22 I will tell of your name to my people; ♦
in the midst of the congregation will I praise you.
23 Praise the Lord, you that fear him; ♦
O seed of Jacob, glorify him;
stand in awe of him, O seed of Israel.
24 For he has not despised nor abhorred the suffering of the poor;
neither has he hidden his face from them; ♦
but when they cried to him he heard them.
25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation; ♦
I will perform my vows
in the presence of those that fear you.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; ♦
those who seek the Lord shall praise him;
their hearts shall live for ever. R
27 All the ends of the earth
shall remember and turn to the Lord, ♦
and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s ♦
and he rules over the nations.
29 How can those who sleep in the earth
bow down in worship, ♦
or those who go down to the dust kneel before him?
30 He has saved my life for himself;
my descendants shall serve him; ♦
this shall be told of the Lord for generations to come.
31 They shall come and make known his salvation,
to a people yet unborn, ♦
declaring that he, the Lord, has done it.