How do you experience the presence of God? … in the world, out there? … or internally, in here? Does that experience change you?
1 The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants too. 2 Because God is the one who established it on the seas; God set it firmly on the waters. 3 Who can ascend the Lord’s mountain? Who can stand in his holy sanctuary? 4 Only the one with clean hands and a pure heart; the one who hasn’t made false promises, the one who hasn’t sworn dishonestly. 5 That kind of person receives blessings from the Lord and righteousness from the God who saves. (CEB)
[Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.]
Reflections on the Psalm
This world – the earth, the sky, the rivers and seas – is filled with the majestic mystery of divine presence. We know that presence in sunsets, walks in the woods, butterflies, and new born babies. But we also experience that presence inwardly — sometimes it is that still, small voice that carries with it an insistence that we encounter in the name of God. Perhaps. To hear that insistence as a calling is to have a mountain-top experience that drives us back down into the valley. We’d like to think that such experiences purify us and immunize us from deception and untruth, that we have become a person privileged by God. The truth is that such experience will likely give us a new direction and a new purpose for our lives. An insistent calling is an invitation to change within — to seek first the Commonwealth of Peace and Justice and then to apply oneself to the directional pull of that Commonwealth. So we begin to look in new directions and see the face of God on new people. Previously we would have seen God acting with power for the powerful; now we see God in the weak force that binds people together in love, peace, and justice. That seeing invites new behaviors which brings us into community with other seekers and other journeyers. Together we commend ourselves to God’s insistence and commit ourselves to compassion, justice, wholeness, integrity, and solidarity with the least, last, lost, and left out.