“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” (Psalms 19:1-4a)
Writing in strict accordance to the Revised Common Lectionary passages means that occasionally passages are repeated, as is the case today. Psalms 19 was also one of the passages for the third Sunday of Lent. And I have spoken to this passage in years gone by. Part of the following the RCL is the knowledge that you will encounter the same passages again and again. The hope and expectation is that you will encounter them during different stages of your life, and that each time you will come away with a new incident and understanding. Or, conversely, that the familiarity will add comfort and support for that time in your life. Just as the glory of God and the going out of the word of God is something we can count on, so is the pattern and repetition of the Revised Common Lectionary.
“In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.” (Verses 4b-6)
All things, all people, and all times are done under God’s sight and knowledge. That is both comforting and frightening. Comforting, as I said, because God is with us and amongst – we are never alone. But frightening, because things happen – terrible things – and they happened within God’s sight and knowledge.
Yesterday was September 11th. I did not connect that date with my posting of yesterday. In fact, it is more common for me to not make note of the date then to comment on it. But I remember; I remember walking into the seminary hallways that September morning in 2001. The images of that morning are seared into my memory. But also firmly lodged into my memory is the response of the seminary community, and my part in it.
Our faith – that is the faith of my fellow students, seminary staff, and professors – did not waver. But it seems to me the faith of the United States did, and seems to be wavering from that point forward. Much as the twin towers wavered, and then fell. And since that time too it seems that people have been jumping from faith beliefs to faith beliefs.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.” (Verses 7-10)
Often I will use the “Preacher and Seeker” when the scripture passage is the Psalms Passage. And I thought about doing that. However, since I most the time write the “Seeker” portion and some of the “Preacher” commentary (that is, what is not the scripture passage for that day) you would have heard basically the same thing; only more drawn out line by line. And since it is me, either way you would be getting my perspective and interpretation, which is . . .
“Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (Verse 11)
Do we do wrong in trusting God? Let me hasten to clarify – should we trust in God or the strength of military and armed might? After September 11 of 2001 the nation – as a whole and general concept – has never looked at personal and national security the same way again. Yes, we are not where we where in the days and several years after 2001. But neither have we gone back to the pre-2001 attitudes either. We, meaning those who live in the United States have changed. And those in other countries have changed to; in response to what happened in the US, what happened in their home country, and what has happened in the world at large.
“But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.” (Verses 12-13)
Living out one’s faith has taken on new meaning. And as said, the tenets of faith has changed; not just Christian faith, which is what I am most familiar but other global faiths. And the tenets of individual denominations and within denominations have evolved also. I do not know if that is something new or whether it happens so slowly over the generations that I/we are not aware of it. When it comes right down to it though, we should all have one simple plea, request, and petition to our God.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Verse 14)