I am daunted that once again the psalm readings this morning are like an anchor rather than spirit-filled wings to which I look to the Word to send me into the day. Instead, I am pulled down into my own personal space and hear only what the Spirit is saying to little ‘ol me, try as I might to lift up and out and onward.
Yet, a big picture idea does emerge, brought into view with this verse from Psalm 41:
8 They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me,
that I will not rise again from where I lie.
It is not the judgment of others – that we are ‘sick,’ – that matters at all. No one can even wish this upon us or make it so, too limited by our own failings to deem righteous or unrighteous the behaviors, choices, and paths of others. If we are following Him, living to glorify Him, we know and God knows ‘no deadly thing has fastened to us.’ Judgment from others trumps and triumphs over God’s only with our permission.
10 But you, O LORD, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them. 11 By this I know that you are pleased with me; because my enemy has not triumphed over me. 12 But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever.
At the end of this reflection I find myself taking a right turn on the bunny trail back to the idea that the readings from the Psalter – all of the Old Testament, actually, has held me down, anchored rather than animated and lifted me.
I think the Spirit has me thinking about my personal practice of using the Daily Office as the structure for my time with the Word. I am not sure that in this season of trial and tribulation the Psalter is the right place to launch into reflection.
By the time I reach the Good News I am too often distracted by the selections from the Psalter and Old Testament that speak to and about
- the absence of God and thus, grace
- preoccupation with sin
- about enemies and us-them scenarios
- with the Law and its inability to save
all of which was trumped and triumphed over when Jesus came to us, lived for us, died for us, was raised for us and is now seated at the right hand of the Father for us.
Where is the Spirit leading me?
I’m not sure. But, perhaps, away, from beginning my day with the Daily Office.