St. Thomas Episcopal Church | Medina

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Thoughts and Happenings

Holy Saturday - April 20

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Lamentations 3:23-24. The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The book of Lamentations is the only book in the Old Testament that consists solely of laments. It is written, after all, after the siege and subsequent destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple in 586 B.C.E. by the Babylonian ruler, Nebudchadnezzar. During the siege much of the population, many of them children, die from starvation and disease. Subsequently the survivors are led off to captivity in Babylon.

This is not a pretty picture, with shades of similar death and privation currently being experienced in Syria, the Congo, Yemen, South Sudan, to name a few.

The author’s interpretation is that the Babylonians were merely the human agents of divine retribution and that God himself destroyed his city and the temple for the covenant-breaking rebellion of his people. However, while cries against their enemy are an understandable response from a human nature standpoint, the more desirable response is sincere, heartfelt contrition. The middle of Lamentations, as reflected in the above two verses, focuses on the goodness of God as the Lord of hope, love, faithfulness and salvation. In spite of evidence to the contrary, his compassions never fail, are new every morning. “Great is your faithfulness.”

I choose to believe that God is the Father of mankind and as such is our quintessential parent, letting us fail in many ways but always, always loving us and giving us guidance, through Jesus Christ, toward redemption and salvation, if only we, his children, would sit up and take notice.

—Curt Young

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