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From the Organ Bench

Psalm 40
I waited patiently for the LORD;
And the LORD, He turned toward me
And heard my cry.
Patience is a word that usually evokes a disappointing response. The elusive
virtue, which seems to be within our reach and yet escapes our embrace, has
transformative power. We have to work hard to become dressed in patience. I never
had as a life’s ambition to grow up and become a Job. I have never listed endurance
or long suffering of evil as a personal quality on an employment application.
While reading Exodus, I find my excuse for not being a patient person. Patience
is an attribute of God’s character. I’m off the hook! But not for long. Those pesky
prophets, with their message of a patient LORD, remind me that the patience of
God is the breeding ground, the dirt of primordial creation for human patience. So I
wait. And I expect something. I wait for something to happen. I wait for someone to
help me. Waiting hurts. Expectations are disillusions. Waiting turns to whining;
evolving to whimpering; spiraling to weeping; descending to the silent sobbing that
no man hears. When the heart echoes to the chambers of heaven something
happens:
The Lord turned toward me
And heard my cry.
L’Eternel lifted me out of the slimy pit,
Out of the mire and mud;
L’Eternel set my feet on a rock
And ordered my goings aright.

Music soothes the misery of the crying child. Nurturing Lord, Abba Lord feeds the
ailing one with a new song:
And He put a new song into my mouth,
A hymn to our God.
God’s patience transforms the character of the human heart. God’s patience aligns
human desire to the pulse of the Lord’s heartbeat:
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
But ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
Then I said, “Behold I come.”

I hear the heartbeat of L’Eternel One. I hear the Voice of L’Eternel in the spoken
word. The pulsing rhythm of the spoken Word, opens my ears and persuades me to
follow the sound of God’s voice. Patience illuminates the path to God‘s heart.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
And your law is within my heart!”
In biblical times, reading from a written text was a small group activity. It took two
people to unroll the large, leather scrolls. God is patient with us and our use of
electronic toys. Some of you might be “scrolling down” or reading this from “smart
phones”, touching a tiny screen with your finger tip. Papyrus, hard bound,
paperback, ink jet or wireless, the message of the psalmist is still the same:

I announced your justice in the vast assembly;


I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
Here am I, Lord;
I come to do your will.

Delma Rouleau
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
16 January 2011