Psalm 49, 147:12-20, 126, 102
O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
Have you heard it said that we are all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day? It is not about birthplace but joy in your heart that needs to be expressed through celebration. We can wear green today and forget, for a day at least, that we live with divisiveness in colors red and blue. Inclusivity is a message at the heart of the Psalms.
I came to the Psalms while in third grade Vacation Bible School, and although I was Presbyterian it did not matter that I was having this experience in my Great Aunt’s Methodist church in a small Indiana town. It was there that I experienced the poetic rhythms and vivid imagery as I took its message to heart by memorizing the words of Psalm 1.
Neither does it matter that as a congregation we are coming to the Psalms this Lenten season even though they were written, intended for singing, by the Israelites. The Spirit is present making known that His Love is inclusive – Jew and Gentile, Irish and Russian, young and old. His love is inclusive and eternal.
In the passages to be read for today we read that no matter what possessions we have accumulated in life, you can’t take it with you, nor will they buy you eternal life. We are mortal.
The Gospel spiritual that comes closest to the message from today’s reading is “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” God created a perfectly balanced planet. If it should pass away, God is forever. Praise Him with joy. We are safe in the shadow of His wings. “The voice of falsehood shall be silenced,” says the Spirit inspired psalmist. Rejoice. Nothing, no attempted divisive classification or identity, can separate us from the love of God.
Dear God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – We praise You for your promises to us and to all people. May we live to give witness to Your Love to all we meet this day and every day.