Mourning and dancing
Weeping and joy
Death and life
Weakness and strength
Fear and confidence
The question hangs in the air unanswered, “What profit is there in my death?” I’ve seen mourning and dancing this year. I’ve seen dreams fulfilled and dreams broken. This weekend, a friend came very close to death, and yet he was spared. This weekend, we’ll be singing a song that always reminds me of a friend who is no long with us. Death and mourning looms over all that we do on this earth and yet our lives can be filled with such joy and dancing.
David’s psalm was written for the dedication of the temple, the same temple that David was told that he would not be allowed to build in his lifetime. He was faced with his mortality and his losses as well as his glory days and successes. The transition from mourning to dancing is not just positive thinking it’s actually a process that only comes through doing the hard work of grieving and crying out to the Father. It’s taking the death that lurks in the shadows of our daily lives and offering it up to God in faith that his anger last a moment but his favor is for a lifetime.
A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple.
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
O Lord, be my helper!”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!