Tell Him What You Think and How You Feel

Written By Holy Scripture

READ:

Read or listen to Psalm 13 and Matthew 27:45-61.

For the choir director. A psalm of David.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long will I store up anxious concerns within me,
agony in my mind every day?
How long will my enemy dominate me?

Consider me and answer, Lord my God.
Restore brightness to my eyes;
otherwise, I will sleep in death.
My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,”
and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your faithful love;
my heart will rejoice in your deliverance.
I will sing to the Lord
because he has treated me generously.


From noon until three in the afternoon, darkness came over the whole land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah.”

Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and offered him a drink. But the rest said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

But Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, and the rocks were split. The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And they came out of the tombs after his resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.

When the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and looked after him were there, watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph came, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body. Then Pilate ordered that it be released. So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean, fine linen, and placed it in his new tomb, which he had cut into the rock. He left after rolling a great stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were seated there, facing the tomb.

The written Scripture is CSB, however, the audio Scripture is ESV.

FOCUS:

Tell Him What You Think and How You Feel  

By Jonathan Neef

When you are really upset, do you think you can be honest with God? If you are furious with God or really hurt and blaming God, do you tell him about it? 

Often, the Christian culture has promoted a stigma that one must be controlled when approaching God. That one needs to think the right thoughts, feel the right feels, and say the right things when talking to God. But this is not the example God gives us for approaching him. 

Psalm 13 begins with the phrase “How long Lord?” This is written four times and the repetition shows there is serious weight given to this phase. The psalmist wants to know how long until God shows up because right now it feels as if God is absent.

Look at the four questions he uses. First, “will you forget me forever?” If you stop to think about it, being forgotten is the worst. If you have been forgotten you are no longer cared about enough to be remembered. The relationship is no longer worth the effort to the other person. They have forgotten you. The psalmist is saying it feels as if God has forgotten him. 

Next the psalmist asks, “how long will you hide your face from me?” This is closely associated with being forgotten, but includes an active and wilful decision of turning away. The feeling is that God has abandoned him. 

Next the psalmist mentions both internal and external pressures he is facing. Internally, the agony of the mind and anxious thoughts. Externally, his enemy is dominating. These serve to show the different areas of struggle where we need God to show up, but regardless of the kind of pain, we need God to do something! 

What pressures are you facing that lead to pain and suffering? Is it internal or external? Notice the text gives weight to both. Where do you feel that if God does not show up you will be crushed? 

Do you feel forgotten by God? Do you feel God no longer cares about you? Can you tell him about it? 

We don’t have to hold back. We don’t have to have all the right answers. We can be raw, honest, and vulnerable. Not only is that what the psalmist is demonstrating, but that is also what God is instructing us to do. 

Bring all your thoughts and feelings to him. God can handle whatever you bring to him; this is part of how he cares for you. Come as you are to him. Tell him what you think and how you feel. Will you?

 

When approached with eyes wide open to God’s presence, gazing at beauty in art can be the Holy Spirit’s avenue for an awareness of union with God and spiritual wholeness.

Spend a few minutes meditating on this art.

PRAY:

Keeping Psalm 13 in mind, wait in prayerful silence for 5 minutes. Write down what the Holy Spirit shows you.

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Day 2 of 7 Holy Week Contemplation

Ascension / O death, where is your sting?

Artist Stephen Procopio:

Procopio created this in a series of images illustrating the Gospel of John. The wounded feet of Christ are lifted off the ground as his work is accomplished on earth. The feet are created out of new life: a labyrinth of floral growth consumes the human form, which is now something more than natural and yet recognizable. The feet are like a bouquet that is forever growing and extending toward the viewer. A serpent’s skull reminds us of the promise God gave to Adam and Eve in the garden, that the New Adam would be bruised by the snake but would ultimately destroy it.

Stephen Procopio, Ascension / O death, where is thy sting?, 2022, pen and ink sketch, digitally colorized. procopiodraws.com

A print of this work is on display at the Christ Community Downtown Campus.

Luke 22:27

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