Lent 2020: Out of the Depths

Our theme for Lent 2020 is “Out of the Depths.”  The phrase is taken from the beginning of Psalm 130:  “Out of the depths I cry to you, O most high.  God, hear my voice!”  The opening verses set a tone of desperation, and the psalm speaks deeply to a broad range of human experience beginning with despair, moving through guilt and uncertainty, and finally affirming hope and faith in God’s “steadfast love” and “great power to redeem.” 

In a world that seems primed for self-destruction, God knows, there is plenty of grist for the mill of hopelessness.  And Psalm 130 honors that despair as a landscape we will all pass through at one time or another—“the valley of the shadow of death,” as another well-known psalm describes it.  But, as in Psalm 23, we are meant not to settle, but to keep moving through the threatening circumstances of our lives, those places of deep uncertainty and despair, waiting and watching for God “more than those who watch for the morning.”

As we journey together through the 40 days of Lent, as the words of this psalm find expression in our proclamation, our singing, and our meditation and prayer, may we listen intently to the word that the Divine Beloved is speaking to us, even in the most obscure moments of our lives.