Psalm 78

For seventy-two verses
The psalmist recounts God’s faithfulness
To the unfaithful
God gets angry, She punishes, She casts away
But returns again and again
Her love stronger than anger
Faithful to the unfaithful
Finding the lost, saving the good
Defeating the powerful, discarding the evil
With plagues, She freed Her people from slavery
Opened the closed sea for their safe passage
Closed the open sea against their pursuers
Through the desert She led them
With cloud and fire, miracles and commandments
Despite their doubts and complaints
She quenched their thirst, satisfied their hunger
In the promised land She established them
Preserved them despite their failings
Despite their desertion again and again
Through defeat, even in Her anger, She loved them
After the winnowing, with the remnant, for the good
She established Her sanctuary
Brought Her people back to Jerusalem
And always She gave them
Moses, Miriam, David, Mary, Jesus, the Advocate
All Herself
Shepherding Her people with truth and skill

I am Her people
I am Israel
I follow until I wander
I believe until I doubt
I trust until I despair
I love until I become distracted, indifferent
I crave peace until I am hurt, angered
I am satisfied until I am envious
I laugh until I forget joy
I worship until I ignore my blessings
And still, always,
When I have flayed myself into pieces
When I am defeated, discouraged, depressed
When I have forgotten God
She remembers me
She rescues me, believes in me, loves me
She gathers the pieces of me
Saves the good, discards the rest
And brings me back to Her. Amen.

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