Again the writer asks in Psalm 79: “How long, O Lord?” But what if God is also asking the question of us? How long, O Church, will you tolerate/allow/wait/abide/watch/sit idle/stand by...? How long, in the face of hunger, oppression, racism, violence, sickness, tyranny...? How long will you build idols instead of justice...? How long, O Church, will you be silent...? How long...? Psalm 79 1 O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. 2 They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the air for food, the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth. 3 They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them. 4 We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us. 5 How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealous wrath burn like fire? 6 Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call on your name. 7 For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation. 8 Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low. 9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake. 10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes. 11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power preserve those doomed to die. 12 Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord! 13 Then we your people, the flock of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
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