Deep Calls to Deep
There's a fascinating phrase in the middle of Psalm 42. 'Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me'. It's a psalm expressing longing for God in the context of being cut off from the public worship of the temple and the anxiety of political unrest. In many ways it's a psalm for our times.
'Deep calls to Deep' is a rallying cry and a theme verse for us for the coming year. It expresses that underneath the tumult of waterfalls, waves and breakers there's something more profound that cuts through the noise. In the middle of anxiety, loss and longing there's a steady presence to be found by going deep. T.S. Elliot's 'still point of the turning world'.
The refrain of the psalm is: 'My soul, why are you so downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your trust in God, for yet I will praise him, my Savior and my God.' It's an encouragement for us to look to God rather than being thrown by circumstances. It's an encouragement to find that deep place, where 'deep calls to deep'.
It will be many months until life in our nation and life in our church emerges into a post-covid reality. For church, I'm looking forward to a glorious celebration at Christmas 2021. If we get there sooner - wonderful.
How do we live in the meantime? We could get downcast and disturbed. Political chaos, economic uncertainty and disease and death are certainly all in the news. Isolation, employment uncertainties and the stress of remote communication. The lack of being face to face with people is perhaps the toughest. But there's plenty to get disturbed by if we choose to fix our minds on it.
Or we can choose to turn our eyes to God. To put our faith in him. To take this time of relative isolation to build that most important of relationships. To go deep with our faith. To seek Christ day by day and to invite the Spirit to show us how to love our neighbors as we 'pray continually' throughout each day. The strategies are simple - worship (however we engage with that), giving of our finances and time, fellowship (even if on the phone or by zoom), a regular pattern of prayer and bible reading, choices for more simple living and less fixation on buying and consuming things, silence and periods of waiting on God, good choices about the media we consume, an attentiveness to the Spirit throughout the day. You know the drill.
I'm hoping this psalm, and the cry 'deep calls to deep', will encourage us to choose the second.
With love and affection for our whole church family,