I was trying to figure out which psalm passage to use; the lectionary cites both as possible. Neither one really seems to fit well. Both seem, well, a little angry and venting. Sort of matches my mood, which is probably why neither one “speaks” to me. When I am in this sort of mood, I go to the scriptures to try to quiet my spirit. But it is not quieted.
“Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and his anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD has them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him. “ ( Psalm 2)
Being transfiguration Sunday (at least it is tomorrow) it makes sense that these passages are focusing on the might and strength of Jesus Christ and his inherent power. But like Peter on the mountain sharing space with Elijah and Moses, there doesn’t seem to be room here for us. And we just draw attention to our not understanding and babbling by trying to say something or contribute something.
“The LORD is king; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The LORD is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name. Holy is he!
Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Extol the LORD our God; worship at his footstool. Holy is he!
Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called on his name. They cried to the LORD, and he answered them.
He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept his decrees, and the statutes that he gave them.
O LORD our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Extol the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy.” (Psalm 99)
So let us just let the psalmist do his job, praising the Lord God and extolling his virtues, while we said back and add our voices to the chorus. But that is not the way Jesus Christ was. Jesus was among the people, traveling to see them, helping them, healing them and becoming involved in their lives. And maybe that is why Jesus did not want Peter, James, and John to say something, because the “mountain top Jesus” was an aspect of the divinity of Jesus that it was not the right time for. That is, during Jesus’ time on earth was the time of a Messiah that was approachable and intimate – imminent is the term that is often used. A Messiah, or God, that is close to us and that seems a part of our everyday lives, as opposed to being out in the cosmos. And I that is why neither of these two psalm passages seem to fit where I am at right.
And actually, where I am at RIGHT NOW is wondering how it is that I never got back to finish this post and post it on the website. Here it is, mid way through transfiguration Sunday, and there is nothing posted. But just like Elijah and Moses were suddenly present with Jesus, suddenly it will be posted! Technology is “miraculous”, but I prefer old-fashioned miracles myself, like Jesus coming to earth, walking with his disciples, and leaving a legacy that is still alive and strong! Selah!