Psalm 78:23-29 (NRSV)
Verse 23Yet he commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven;
Verse 24he rained down on them manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven.
Verse 25Mortals ate of the bread of angels; he sent them food in abundance.
Verse 26He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by his power he led out the south wind;
Verse 27he rained flesh upon them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas;
Verse 28he let them fall within their camp, all around their dwellings.
Verse 29And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.
I met Milla in her late 80s. Her memories seemed to fade at the edges, yet Milla described with precision a dress she received at seven handcrafted by her mother.
Psalm 78’s writer was like Milla, with an affinity for telling how the previous generations had complained. Even when God provided, still the people continued in stubborn and cantankerous ways.
What relevance today? We all watched the video of George Floyd’s death, saw many protests, and watched with horror as Minnesota’s beloved City of Lakes smoldered. While it is still almost impossible to comprehend the damage, many have felt compelled to reflect on, confess, and address white supremacy and the systemic racism even within ourselves and our churches.
This storyteller can rehearse the stories of our failures to renew our country and our world in ways that are better for us all. And yet as the story goes, God claims us, again, in Jesus, and keeps renewing us.
Renewing God, we pray that you will not give up on us. Keep coming to make us into the people you want us to be. Amen.