Where has this Psalm been these last months of effort, of feeling like I'm walking around in a desert?
O God, You are MY God, I seek you. My Soul thirsts for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
In deciding to try once again this year to read the Lenten Readings from the Book of Common Prayer, I admit I am honestly, in a much more tired place this year. I stopped abruptly last year as our family suffered a tragedy in the loss of one of our children's birth family members, and that, coupled with continuing to try to recover from major surgery, a loss in and of itself, just threw me. I shouldn't have stopped, as I am fairly certain that reading Scripture would have gotten me through much better than I got through things myself, but I did, and here I am, wanting more... a year later.
And I read this Psalm, and instant tears and peace flow together.
I have looked upon you in your Sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. BECAUSE your steadfast LOVE is better than life, my lips will praise you.
That underlined part??? It is the truth. There have been times when I would say "anything is better than the life that surrounds me this day" but isn't it good, refreshing, hopeful to say... "I can praise you regardless, O LORD, because I live with the assurance that Your Love will be here and overwhelm me each and every day, if only I am open to feeling it.
And David sings these words of praise from the wilderness, or desert, not from a palace. He isn't saying this out of thanksgiving for that love so much as comfort and assurance that God is indeed present in the wilderness.
And because of this assurance of God's neverending love, "I will bless you as long as I live. I will lift up my hands and call your name. My soul is satisfied and my mouth praises you with joyful lips."
I don't do these things, like bless God, lift up my hands to God, call on God's name, joyfully praise him, because life doesn't at times (sometimes all the time?) feel like a desert. No, it's about the "knowing" that God is here...and His Love endures forever.
Mark 2: 18-22
I truly need someone to preach on this passage, someone with way more wisdom than I do, to interpret Jesus's words here. At first reading (which is what I am trying to do here, not what I would do were I to preach this from the pulpit), it seems the people are questioning, and probably trying to catch Jesus doing something wrong. They want to know why the followers of Jesus are living differently than those who have come before. Jesus' disciples aren't fasting in a way that "it has always been done". And Jesus' response on the surface (and that is all this is) seems to me a foretelling about His Plan to make "all things new", to turn the world on its head, to put away the old way of doing things ~ the rules ~ in order to live in our new skins, in freedom from sin because we are redeemed once and for all, rather than in bondage to the rules that keep us from sinning. And we live now, on this side of Jesus' redeeming act, in our new skins! What does that mean exactly then, to how we should live???
There's more... but for a Sunday morning, we move forward to worship. His Blessing be upon us all!