Saturday, May 03, 2014

Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19

Year A - 3rd Sunday of Easter or Assured 3
May 4, 2014

There are appropriate and inappropriate complaints. Some of us have a very low tolerance for anything that doesn’t go our way (from bewailing not finding a parking place close to our destination to dying if a significant other dies). Here we have an affirmation that a complaint was voiced and resolved to the psalmist’s satisfaction.

A next question is how to respond to such a blessing (as distinct from responding to a blessing present in an unrequited complaint).

The psalmist in verse 9 (elided) admits that they were so fixated in getting a positive outcome that they responded, “Liar!”, to any who would suggest acceptance of their experienced plight. It might be said that an affliction makes one unaware of their inflicting their affliction on others.

At any rate, now that a resolution has been achieved, how does one respond?

Look again at 16b, “You have loosed my bonds.”

On one level this is a recognition that a complaint has been successfully negotiated and the knot it had caused has been cut.

In a community there is no response that can only be individualized. This loosening has also set free a community that has had the complaint imposed upon it, one they would have otherwise been ignorant of. A community has also been freed.

A thanksgiving is in order, but there is also a need to re-establish relationships for all the “Liar!” type responses that had been given along the way.

Can we respond to our bonds being loosed by loosing our bonds of entitlement and privilege that our cares are to be attended to before those of others. Easter frees us from the being bound by a stone sitting on top of us. In our joy of having a stone rolled off us, a knot cut, a light re-lit, we express our thanks by assisting others to have their constraint lifted. If our praise does not re-purpose prayer from words to actions, we have not been loosed yet. If praise does not bring repentance we simply await a next testing of this supernaturally attuned-to-me “Lord” and the complaint/loosening cycle rolls back over us.

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