Saturday, May 5, 2018

Psalm 98 for Sunday 6 May 2018

Psalm 98

Sing to the Lord a new song, *
for he has done marvelous things.

With his right hand and his holy arm *
has he won for himself the victory.

The Lord has made known his victory; *
his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the nations.

He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, *
and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands; *
lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing.

Sing to the Lord with the harp, *
with the harp and the voice of song.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn *

Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, *
the lands and those who dwell therein.

Let the rivers clap their hands, *
and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord,
when he comes to judge the earth.

In righteousness shall he judge the world *
and the peoples with equity.

Reflection           It was a day perfect for driving with the car windows open between visits to multiple markets.  Rather than my standard beat the clock, get as many chores checked off the list as quickly and efficiently as possible, I lingered with the vegetables, wandered down aisles that had never been darkened by my shadow, chatted with fish mongers and clerks in each of the markets as I gathered a colorful array of ingredients.  Once home I dove into concocting dessert, then while cutting perfect eclipses of cucumber for hors d’oeuvres I found my self singing, literally singing a new song. It was not an old song not even a hymn. Just singing. 

And I remembered Barbara BrownTaylor’s words, “…one night when my whole heart was open to hearing from God what I was supposed to do with my life, God said (with the voice in her head) anything that pleases you… and,  belong to me.” ( An Altar in the World, p 110) Wow. It is not what we do, but how we do it that matters. 

Do we choose to take on life like a merciless to-do list, furiously scratching off items and endlessly adding more? Or, do we choose to be beguiled by life, absorbed in  the present moment, living with purpose rather than looking for it?

Here is the thing, life is what happens in the present moment. The past is like an empty oyster shell, a crusty hollow bereft of life. Future is airy as unborn wings, impotent and lifeless. It is only in the present moment that we encounter life, life in its fullness, because the present moment is the only place we dance with God.

Following the example of the Trinity (One God expressed in the mutual indwelling of three persons, a community of love) we are meant to live in mutuality of love with God and one another. Each person belongs to the other in the dance of life. The writer of John’s gospel has Jesus pray it this way, “That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us" (John 17:21).

To participate in the mutuality of love, to experience the fullness of joy, to sing a new song to the Lord, we must consent to be beguiled by the present moment. When we say yes the dance expands, we move around, make room for one another and allow good fruit to bloom… good fruit that is like a new song making our joy complete. Shall we dance?

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