This week’s lectionary readings begin in the Psalter with two more Davidic psalms (56, 57) which can – don’t have to – but can launch the day’s readings into the personal vs communal experience sphere. And given that I have resided there of late, I was vulnerable to hunkering down in the ‘woe is me, save me Lord,’ pit that these psalms express.
I sometimes get exhausted by David’s whining probably because it feels so much like my own. So today, I just decided to up and leave the psalms and get on with it. Onward, as I like to say. Onward out of my head and into the good news.
The passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans was a a good one to bring me ‘out of myself’ and into God’s big world. The passage lists all the men and women Paul had been blessed to serve with over the years. Yes, men and women, saints all, God’s people. If you ever doubt Paul’s thoughts about who is called to preach the gospel, proclaim Christ’s resurrection, be sure to refer yourself to this passage, and not the stuff Paul’s students wrote in the Timothy letter.
At the end of the epistle, is a line that brought me back to the psalms I was trying to leave, 16Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
A holy kiss. There is something so personal in this greeting. I’ve heard tell that a kiss between lovers is the most intimate of physical expressions. As an expression of love between Christians for the risen Lord, it is intimate in a different way. Touch is involved. Eye contact. Acknowledgement of the other. A shared love for the risen Lord.
So why did this draw me back to the psalms? The personal. The personal experience vs the communal. I am in dire need of getting out of myself so that I can hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people – not just to me! And yet, here’s just a sweet holy kiss nudge back to the personal experience, petition and salvation the psalms today express.
So, back I went. But instead of the hearing the whining David – the whining me – I heard the joyful Lord. The saving grace and gentle hand and holy kiss of the Lord, God. And my mind actually heard a song.
Perhaps a bit unconventional for your taste, but I heard this track by Van Morrison. It is so sweet. I hear this being sung to dear David. Don’t worry David, there will be days like this. I hear not whining but thanksgiving and a whisper – in the track it comes from Morrison’s mamma – that though stuff happens, when walking with the Lord the good surrounds, grounds, abounds.
Stop. Listen. This might be such a day, the Lord, God says to David, then to me. There will be always, days like this. Pause. Breathe.
Smile, for heavens sake.
Greet yourself. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
Lectionary Readings: AM Psalm 56, 57, ; PM Psalm 64, 65 Joshua 24:16-33; Rom. 16:1-16; Matt. 27:24-31
Days Like This lyrics:
When there’s no one complaining there’ll be days like this
When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch
Well my mama told me there’ll be days like thisWhen you don’t need to worry there’ll be days like this
When no one’s in a hurry there’ll be days like this
When you don’t get betrayed by that old Judas kiss
Oh my mama told me there’ll be days like thisWhen you don’t need an answer there’ll be days like this
When you don’t meet a chancer there’ll be days like this
When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit
Then I must remember there’ll be days like thisWhen everyone is up front and they’re not playing tricks
When you don’t have no freeloaders out to get their kicks
When it’s nobody’s business the way that you wanna live
I just have to remember there’ll be days like this