By: Bianca Vazquez
Readings: Psalm 126; Isaiah 43:1-7; Philippians 2:19-24
I love that we are spending time talking about courage this Lenten season. Courage is found in everyday moments, in being vulnerable in both our pain and our joy. Brene Brown, one of my favorite researcher/story tellers, changed how I see courage. She says, “Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant ‘to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.’ Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences – good and bad.”
In Psalm 126, the people were displaying courage, both the courage to remember and the courage to hope. The prayer shows that they have a memory of their life changing drastically, from a life of suffering and exile to a life of rejoicing and joy. They are giving thanks to God for the restoration of Zion. It is because the people remember that God has acted this way in the past that they can pray for a similar turn around in their own current situation; they are confident that God’s renewal can show up again.
I pray in this Lenten season that we can share where God has shown up for us and where we are still suffering or still waiting. I pray that we have enough courage to risk to relate to each other, to care for each other, to reach out, and to let ourselves be seen. I pray that the result is continued restoration and renewal in our personal lives and in our communal life together.