Out of the Depths

Psalm 130


Out of the depths I cry to you.  Someone cries out.  Someone calls out from the depths, from the deep.

These depths, this deep: In the beginning, before God made anything, before God separated one thing from another thing, the world was a formless void; the world was nothing and there wasn’t anything.  And darkness covered the face of the deep and a great wind, a cold wind, blew across the surface of those waters.

Those waters, those terrifying waters of nothingness, those waters, they are the depths, the deep.

And someone cries out.  Out of the depths I cry to you.  Someone calls out from those waters, from the depths, the deep.

Something has happened.  Something has happened that has turned this person’s world upside down, upside down and inside out.  Nothing makes sense anymore.  Nothing works the way it once did.

Things feel out of control.  This person feels helpless.  There isn’t anything he or she can do.  Not any more.  Floundering helplessly and hopelessly, this person feels like he or she is drowning.  At any moment that watery deep, those depths, could swallow her or him.

And out of the depths I cry to you.  Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

Someone cries out, someone calls out from the depths.  You hear that cry.  What would you say?  What would you say to such a person?  What would you do?  What would you do for this person?

Well, we’ve learned a few things.  We’ve learned a few things at the Tuesday morning Bible study.  We’ve been studying the Book of Job.  And I think we’ve learned a few things.  We’ve learned what not to do, anyway.

Job lost everything.  It was not his fault; he did nothing at all to deserve any of this.  But he lost everything.  He went from the pinnacle of success and prosperity and honor to the top of the trash pile where he scraped the sores covering his body with a piece of broken pottery.  His world was turned upside down and inside out.  It made no sense to him.  And from the depths did Job cry out to God, cursing the day he was born.

Three friends, or so-called friends, came to Job to comfort and to consol and to counsel him.  But what they all three ended up doing is wagging their fingers at him.  Each would wag their religious finger at him saying surely he had done something, had sinned somehow, had some way or other displeased God.

The three of them ended up blaming Job for having brought it all upon himself.  They ended up blaming Job and defending God, or their religious beliefs about God.

And none of it helped.  Nothing the three friends said to Job helped.  In fact, they only made things worse, these friends did.

And we’ve learned what not to do.  When someone cries out from the depths we have learned it does no good to wag our fingers at them, to figure out where they’ve gone wrong and just exactly how they have sinned, how they deserve, deserve what is happening.  That doesn’t help anything or anyone.  Don’t do that.  It just probably isn’t going to help that much.  Not when someone is crying out from the depths, from the deep, not when they are about to be swallowed up, it won’t help.

Out of the depths, from out of the depths does someone cry out.

And we’ve learned a few things.  We’ve learned a few things in our grief support training sessions.  We’ve learned a few things about people who are grieving the death of someone they love.

We have learned about the ways the loss, the death, of a loved one can turn a person’s life upside down and inside out.  It is very, very difficult.  It is difficult to try to put the pieces back together so that life makes sense, so that the world makes some sense again.

And what can you say to help?  What can you do to help someone who is grieving?

Someone cries out from the depths.  Someone calls out from the deep, from those cold and terrifying waters, about to be swallowed up by them.  Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.  Lord, hear my voice.

And God, what will God say?  What would God do?  What do you think?  God hears that cry and what do you think God will say?  Will God say, I told you so?  What would God do?  Do you think God would come up with an additional ten commandments?  Would that help?  No.

God sends his Son into the world.  For God so loves the world.  For God so loves the world and you and me.

The Son of god is sent into this world to be with us, to be with us and for us.  To be with us and to be for us to the very end.  To the very end, to the death, even death on a cross.

Even death on a cross, and the world was upside down and inside out.  He had done nothing wrong, had committed no crime, but there he hung among the criminals.  There among the criminals he hung, his body wracked with pain.  In pain and alone.  His friends had run off and left him.  And he cries out.  Out of the depths does he cry out: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  From the depths does he cry out and then he breathes his last.

God sends the Son into the world.  The Son of God is sent into the world to be there with us, to be there for us, even to the end, to the death, even to death on a cross.

Why?  So that there is nowhere we can go, so that there is nowhere we can go that Jesus is not there with us.  Even when the world is turned upside down and inside out, there he is; Jesus is right there with us and for us.  There is no height high enough, no depth deep enough.  There are no angels, no rulers strong enough.  There is nothing in the past or in the present and there will be nothing in the future.  Not life.  And not death.  There is nothing in all of creation that will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What God does.  This is what God does.  And us?  What can we do?  When from the depths someone cries out, what can we do?

We can care, care about people.  It’s what Jesus Christ does, what God does.  Care about people.

It is what we learned to do in the grief support training sessions, ways to care about grieving people.  The leader of these training sessions said we will make mistakes.  But we will not fail.  If the people we try to help know that we care about them, we will not fail.  Care about them.  To have someone who cares goes a long ways.

We can do what God does, what Jesus Christ does.  We can care about people.  That’s a big help right there.  It is what God does.  God cares about people.  God cares about you.  God cares about us all.  We can, too, can, too . . .

But then.  But then God does something we cannot and could never.

God raised him.  The one who is with us and for us no matter what and to the very end, to death, even to death on a cross, Jesus Christ, God raised him up.  From the depths, from the deep, from those terrifying waters, God raised Jesus to life.

God does for people, for you, for us all what we cannot, could never.  God raises us up from those depths, pulls us out of those waters, rescues us, saves us.  Gives us life.  New life.  Gives us new life.  New life.  A new creation.

Neal Kentch, Cottage Way Christian Church, Sacramento, August 9, 2009