The lectionary psalm for this Sunday, February 8, praises God who by God’s very nature builds up community and creation. The psalmist invites us to imagine a new community where all are welcomed and encouraged. However good it is to praise God…..our experience in the world sometimes make God’s healing power seem remote. We do see broken hearts. We know wounds in our family and community that are not bound. Perhaps, we get overwhelmed when we look at the stars and think to ourselves….what’s the point?
Such honest desperation is felt by all from time to time and at such times we need to live into the meaning of the psalms. Sometimes our reading of the psalms can take the form of morning prayer. At other times, living into the psalms means taking the echo of these words into our world and seeing them in the wonder of stories.
I read today that a new book by Harper Lee was unearthed. Lee wrote “To Kill a Mocking Bird” garnering much popularity and renown. I still remember my 6th grade teacher Mr. Hooper having us read the book culminating in a party where we watched the movie “To Kill a Mocking Bird” starring Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch and Mary Badham in the role of Scout. The book and the movie leaves an impression. Just like Psalm 147, the book instills a sense of mystery and the deep interconnections of all life. Like Psalm 147, we are inspired by the call to deep connection especially to the outcasts personified by Boo Radley. Like the Gospel witness, we read and see the power of the outsider to make change and to save life.
In your own way, work for justice this week…..pray for peace….love and serve your neighbors. In your own way…live into the psalms!
Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. .
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.