Praising God in Sorrow, Just Like Jesus

praising God in sorrow

I mentioned last week that Penny and I have been singing worship songs together lately. It is such a gift to me to turn off the news and sing or to just listen to words that affirm the love and goodness of God. I’m learning the importance of praising God in sorrow.

I also mentioned last week that I noticed this little sentence in the Gospels about what happened in between The Last Supper and Jesus’ agonized prayer in Gethsemane. In between this tender and poignant final meal together and a wrestling match of prayer in which Luke records Jesus sweating drops of blood, the Gospel writers record that Jesus and the disciples “sang a hymn.” 

I wondered out loud to my husband what they would have sung together. He offered to ask a friend who is a rabbi, and I learned from Rabbi Bachman that the traditional songs after a Passover meal, going back to the days of Jesus, are Psalms of praise. Specifically, Psalms 113-118

In the midst of deep sorrow, confusion, and pain, Jesus praised God. 

I do not want to overshadow the grief and confusion and pain so many of us are feeling and experiencing right now. I do not want to advocate happy-clappy gratitude or toxic positivity. But I do think I can learn from Jesus’ insistence on naming the truth of God’s goodness even in the face of suffering and death

Jesus celebrated his final meal on earth among his friends and his betrayer. He set out into the dark of night, knowing what was coming. And he sang a song of praise.


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