Strength

Readings: Psalm 126; Isaiah 35:3-7; Luke 7:18-20

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of the jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. Isaiah 35:3-7, NRSV

Why is it that I’m inclined to ask for vengeance when I am afraid of someone else? Can I get to a place of peace that doesn’t require some return for the hurt others visit on me?

The great strength of the psalms – and our faith in God: we leave such vengeance and smiting to God rather than take things into our own hands. God, in great mercy and patience, gives us time to rethink such vengeful requests. God grants us grace until we get to the point where we wish only good things on others – especially those whom we fear.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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