Daily Lectionary Readings for Year A
One of my personal devotional sources is Disciplines, from The Upper Room. This morning I would like to share the writing of Claire K. McKeever-Burgett as she reflects on Psalm 100. As we struggle during this pandemic we can pray the Kaddish, together. In fact, as we remain apart to protect one another, we are even more aware how together we are as we pray and sing and walk with God. You are not alone today. You are joined by a community connected by love, hope, and faith.
I recently heard Rabbi David Horowitz describe the Kaddish, an ancient prayer recited regularly in Jewish worship services and originally known as the Mourner's Prayer, as a prayer for those who proclaim, “In my hurt, I am willing to praise God."
When he said these words, I saw in my mind's eye all those throughout the ages who, amid their oppression, abuse, exile, discrimination, and pain, stand and stumble to say, “In my hurt, I am willing to praise God."
If we need further evidence that these people and these prayers exist, we need to look no further than Psalm 100. A song of thanksgiving and praise to the Shepherd who leads and guides, rescues and restores, Psalm 100 testifies to God‘s great love for God‘s people.
Psalm 100 is a communal hymn that offers straightforward instruction for the congregation: make a joyful noise; be glad; give thanks; know that the Lord is God; know that the Lord is good. Amid all sorrow, heartache, grief, and pain, gather with the community and praise God.
Though straightforward, these instructions are not easy for those who know the pains this life can bring. Therefore, when singing this Psalm and praying this prayer, we never stand or sing alone. The Mourner's Prayer or Kaddish is communal, meant to be recited in the presence of a person's community of faith, just as this song is meant to be sung with all people who know of God‘s goodness and love.
Holy God, we come into your presence with singing. We will make a joyful noise as a witness to your goodness and love. Amen.