Psalm 107 gives thanks for deliverance from many troubles: refugees (4-9); prisoners (10-16); people suffering from illness (17-22); sailors and travelers on ships (23-32).
This week's lectionary focuses on the third group, those who are ill. Even those who had brought about their own sickness cried out to the Lord for help. And even them, did the Lord deliver.
We can interpret this passage quite literally and find many present-day illustrations of sick people who didn't deserve being sick and those who, in our judgment, did.
For example, The Associated Press - March 16: WASHINGTON (AP) - A handful of children once severely allergic to peanuts now can munch them without worry. Scientists retrained their bodies to tolerate peanuts by feeding them tiny amounts of the very food that endangered them.
And, we can metaphorize.
For example, loss of economic status, as in this story on Monday by Mark Felsenthal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The US Federal Reserve this week is likely to restate a vow to do whatever is needed to battle the nation's severe recession but no new steps are expected as it keeps its focus on plans already in the works.
And, also Monday, ISTANBUL (AFP) - The World Water Forum, a seven-day arena aimed at addressing the planet's deepening crisis of fresh water, was launched here Monday to appeals for a campaign to save the precious stuff of life.
Sometimes, it is appropriate to look for fault and assess blame, but, it is always appropriate to seek the help of the Lord--directly and also through the work of scientists, economists, and politicians.
And, it is appropriate to give thanks.
Lectio Divina: Psalm 107:21-22