A few years ago, I helped our Director of Worship Arts Ryan Dafgek lead the music for Vacation Bible School. It was awesome! One of the songs we taught our kids was “Your Love Never Fails” by the Newsboys. Great song. In the chorus we sing, “You [God] stay the same through the ages. Your love never changes. There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.” This comes from Psalm 30:5, where David writes, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” I was reminded of this psalm yesterday as I continued to watch the news, particularly coming out of the once great American city of Chicago where this past weekend they experienced the deadliest weekend they have in sixty years.
The year 2020 is one we will not long forget. We began with a great celebration. South Congregational Church’s 350th anniversary. Soon after that, Covid-19 hit. The lockdowns began. Masks. Hand sanitizer. Social distancing. Over 111,000 people have lost their lives to the coronavirus in the US – 4,000 here in Connecticut. If that was not enough, our economy, which was roaring, has taken a big beating. Unemployment has soared. Some businesses (the employers) have even shut down permanently. This is certainly pain in the night.
Then, on Memorial Day, in the midst of an arrest, the actions of four police officers in Minneapolis led to the death of George Floyd – a 46-year old black man. More pain in the night.
This injustice was then compounded by some who used the opportunity of Mr. Floyd’s death to wreak havoc on local businesses by looting, arson, and a level of violence we are not used to seeing. Communities all over our country will feel the effects of these actions for years to come. Long after the news cameras and legitimate protesters have all gone home. Most assuredly, more pain in the night.
I just want to remind everyone today of the rest of the psalm. “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” I believe, however, these tragedies can have a positive result. If we will seek it. The coronavirus scare has made us take stock of what is truly important in life, and it’s not stuff, but family and loved ones. We have a new appreciation for many people we perhaps have previously taken for granted. Health care workers, truckers, grocery store clerks, waiters, waitresses, hair stylists, and educators. They all performed their jobs so well we barely noticed them until they were gone.
I believe Mr. Floyd’s death will lead to real and substantive change as well. Many people, who were simply going about their daily business completely unaware of the reality of the lives of some of our fellow Americans, have had their eyes opened. I believe America will do better, be better, going forward than it has been in the past.
Friends, Satan has been using things like illness, joblessness, and prejudice to try to divide and conquer God’s people for thousands of years. He is good at his job, but God is better. David reminds us, yes, weeping may last through the night, and in our case, the night has lasted several months now, but joy comes in the morning. If we follow the light of the world, we will come out of this darkness, and joy will come in the morning.
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