May the thing that trouble You, trouble me as well.
In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
I grew up with “wait until your father gets home” as a threat. The psalmist reverses that dynamic. God gets angry not so much by our transgressions, but by transgressions against us. And it is no small anger.
Garrison Keiller tells the story of Pastor Inqvist striking his thumb with a hammer during a communal work project. Keillor remarks that “all the most satisfying language” was unavailable to him in that setting. Well the psalmist reports some pretty satisfying displays of anger in his tale.
What provokes us to such anger … and what should provoke us to us anger? The babe in the manger wants to know.
God of love and compassion, guide us to love as you loved, even when it demands a stronger response than our practice. Amen.