1 Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.
3 I am weary with my crying;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God.
5 For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah;
and his servants shall live there and possess it;
36 the children of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall live in it. ~Psalm 69: 1-3, 35-36
“When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down. When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown, Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul. Christ laid aside his crown for my soul. “
This verse from one of my favourite hymns, “What Wondrous Love is This” speaks of a time similar to that of the Psalmist in today’s reading. With each passing day and the numbers of people infected with Covid-19 continuing to grow, continuing to get closer to home, we might feel that we are sinking down, too. A Star Phoenix article yesterday spoke of what the SHA (Saskatchewan Health Authority) would do should they need to rotate the 332 invasive ventilators and 118 non-invasive ventilators in the province. Triage committees would be set up taking into account several factors to determine who would get a ventilator if a decision had to be made, if there were not enough ventilators for everyone who was ill and in need of that supportive equipment. The SHA asserted that we are not there yet. But the idea of needing to triage, to determine who gets ventilators or who doesn’t actually left me breathless and horrified. Kyrie eleison. Christ have mercy.
The water is up to our necks. We are in deep waters that threaten to overtake us. Yet even as we feel this way, the Psalmist gives us hope! God will save Zion. A people in exile will return to the promised land and possess it. For the Israelites in exile this meant that they would be home, to the place where they belonged, to the place where they knew God was with them.
God will save Zion is our hope, too. Our “Zion” looks different. God will save us from this virus. God will restore us from this time of exile. We need to do our part and follow the advice of health authorities and our government during this time because having these advisories is one way God is saving us.
Our God saves. Of this we can be sure. This is who our God is and what our God does. God saves us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sin and death are destroyed. All that worries us, threatens us or keeps us separated from God are all destroyed in Christ our Lord. And God keeps on saving. God is in the midst of the city. God is with God’s people. God will stop the flood waters and they will not overwhelm us. God saves us from sinking down. There will be life on the other side of this epidemic because our God saves.
Saving God, the waters are at our necks. We can hardly breathe at the magnitude of what could happen in this unfolding epidemic. Give us Your breath when we cannot breathe. Give us Your calm, when fears grab hold. Speak Your word of truth: I am the God who saves. Strengthen us in this hope and promise, so that we can see the ways You are saving us all the day long, for we ask it in the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Amen.