Today is World AIDS Day and people around the world are participating in events that both help raise awareness and help alleviate the suffering of those with HIV/AIDS. World AIDS Day always falls on December 1st at the beginning of Advent. This juxtaposition seems very appropriate to me.
As I read through the scriptures for the first week of Advent in the Book of Common prayer about the exile and the sin of Israel I am reminded that so much of our waiting is done in anguish and grief . Waiting is not something that sits comfortably with us, particularly when what we wait for is covered by clouds and shrouded in fog. So often we wait in the hope of God’s promises but we also wait in the devastation of broken dreams and uncertain futures… just as those who suffer from AIDS do.
I was reminded of that as I read the psalms this morning.
Psalm 6 – New Living Translation
1 O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your rage.
2 Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak.
Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3 I am sick at heart.
How long, O Lord, until you restore me?4 Return, O Lord, and rescue me.
Save me because of your unfailing love.
5 For the dead do not remember you.
Who can praise you from the grave?
6 I am worn out from sobbing.
All night I flood my bed with weeping,
drenching it with my tears.
7 My vision is blurred by grief;
my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.
8 Go away, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord will answer my prayer.
10 May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified.
May they suddenly turn back in shame.