Psalm 36:7,9 NRSV
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings….For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light….
Holy Week is an emotional roller coaster. The triumphal entry into Jerusalem and Jesus’ exhilaration at obeying God’s command by cleansing the Temple are quickly followed by despair, betrayal, faithless friends, pain, agony and a shameful death. On that interminable Saturday after the crucifixion, Jesus’ followers knew they had been forever changed by Him but did not know what was to come.
Our own life mirrors Holy Week, bouncing between triumph, fulfillment, and love and despair, suffering, and abandonment. We look ahead to pain and death, hoping that the Jesus we encounter in scripture and in life will somehow care for us. Yet like his disciples on that fearful Saturday we do not know what is to come.
Scripture and tradition tell us that a millennium before that first Holy Week, King David wrote a series of meditations on God. David was no stranger to betrayal, rejection, pain, and fear. Like us (but unlike Jesus) he was also no stranger to sin. But David saw – as we need to see – that despite life’s pain, God’s steadfast love is everlasting. We are not told whether Jesus drew comfort from David’s words, but we should do so. For we know what David did not: when the psalmist says “in your light we see light,” the light we see is the light of Resurrection. Beyond Jesus impending death on Good Friday and beyond our own pain and death lie the splendor of Easter, when we shall be sheltered by God’s wings for eternity.
Keep me in your steadfast love, my Lord and my God, so that in your light I may always see the light of Resurrection.