When I began this meditation on the psalms seven weeks ago, I thought it would welcome the wide array of emotions that I know are in these ancient songs. Those emotions are there in the other texts in these Sundays but the psalms seemed to hit only one or two notes.
I thought it might be something else when I imagined this thing without looking too closely at the texts before I began. I thought there would be room for anger and frustration. I thought we could work through some of the emotions that hang heavy on us in this pandemic and that’s not what it feels like has happened. I’m not sure if I should be sad about that.
I am a little just as I’m confused that we are pushed to find delight here. That is not an emotion that feels comfortable at this moment. I want it to be but it doesn’t feel like that is what comes easily. I’m leaning into this possibility in this prayer.
I don’t know exactly where it should go in worship but trust that you will find the place where it might work best. Maybe it’s an invocation. Or maybe it’s tweaked to be something with a little response for the call to worship. You know what it needs to be, dear pastor. I know you do.
Prayer for Delight Inspired by Psalm 37:1-11 Delight has not been our companion in these days. Our hearts have struggled to find delight. Our hearts have fretted and gotten upset more times than we would like to count. We have worried. O God, how we have worried. Still, we have not allowed ourselves to delight. We have been so upset about all that has gone wrong and that has not faded but we need to release this anger. We need to let go of our rage and welcome your presence. We cannot force it. Delight does not come because we insist on it. It comes, instead, with the sound of laughter and tapping feet. It comes in the unexpected wonder of being together. It comes when we forget why we were so upset. It comes and this is our prayer today. Delight comes in your presence, O God. It comes. O God, this is our hope. Be here with us in this moment. We need you here with us. We delight in you, O God. We delight in your presence.
Of course, there are other gifts to help plan your worship with this psalm. The Living Psalms project offers this retelling of the psalm. As is true of every prayer I’ve ever found from New Zealand, I adore this centering prayer. I just love it and I might just read it to myself in all of the days ahead.
It was surprisingly hard to find a song that was full of joy. And that’s what what I wanted to pair with this meditation on delight. I wanted something that would makes us feel like getting up and dancing. After all, if we cannot sing in these pandemic days, we can at least dance even if we are six feet away. We can dance with joy for God’s presence in our worship.
I’m not sure the lyrics quite fit but there will be joy. Good God, there will be delight.
That’s all I’ve got for now.
I am praying for you, dear pastor. I’m praying for you so much.