Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! I hope you are enjoying this beautiful day, our Lord has made. Our text today is from Psalm 73:21-22a, “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant.”
How difficult it is to be unemployed. You want to work, to earn a living, to pay your bills, to support your family … but you have lost your job through these unforeseen circumstances that have hit our country like a freight train. You are trying so hard to find something, anything, but no one seems willing to hire you in the midst of a pandemic. Even if you are fortunate enough to still have your job, perhaps you have seen your hours cut or know people who have lost their job or had their hours cut or are working from home. For all of us, life is different.
So what do you do when your life is turned upside down? Where do you go? Well, some people turn inward, to self-pity and loathing. Others take this a step further and turn to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate, trying desperately to relieve the emptiness inside. The psalmist recognizes his own self-pity and bitter attitudes when he cries out, “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant.”
It’s so easy to turn to “senseless and ignorant” things when we feel like we are in the pit. One of the beautiful things I like about the psalms, is that even though the psalmists can be filled at times with self-pity and loathing, they never cease to look to the Lord: “Whom do I have in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (vs. 25-26). Words of encouragement for the unemployed, for sure; but also words for all of us. God will guide us, as his church, through this difficult time. There already appears to be some light at the end of this dark tunnel. Will you think on these things? Amen.
Pastor Bryan E. Drebes
Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997. He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001. He served Bethany for 14 years. Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine