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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Psalm 85: Divine Activity

Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.

Laurent de la Hyre: The Kiss of Peace and Justice

Laurent de la Hyre: The Kiss of Peace and Justice

As many times as I have read the Psalms, I do not know how I have missed this beautiful verse.  Notes tell us that in this hymn the psalmist describes divine activity in pairs of virtues.  In this Prayer for Divine Favor we experience the national longing of a people to be reunited with their God.  Much like a spurned lover longing for his love, these words evoke an aching for the ideal, a place where truth, love, peace and justice might meet.  This place is that very special dwelling which we all seek.  This place exists in the now and in the here.  We have only to create it for ourselves and for all.

How do we do this?  The psalmist tells us:

I will listen for God’s response.

The Lord will set us on the way God treads. 

This cannot be more simple . . . nor can it be more difficult.  The roadmap is clear; we must follow.  The problem is that usually our willfulness, our recalcitrance, our stiff necks and hard hearts must be open to the new writing which our God wishes to inscribe on our hearts.  We hear the words of the New Covenant but we are reluctant to take them in out of fear, lack of fidelity or courage, envy, pride, desire to manipulate and control our environment . . . any number of stumbling blocks to true union with God.

What leads us to this place?  What are the stepping stones?  Where do we find the wisdom and the stamina to reach this interior dwelling that brings us to God’s Holy City?

We allow the gifts of the Holy Spirit to open us, to enliven us, to empower us so that we might cast off the bonds that restrain us.  These are the bonds Jesus came to break.  This is the release which the Christ came to obtain, the prophecy he came to fulfill.

From Galatians 5:22 In contrast [to immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasion of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like – verses 20 and 21], the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law. 

What does God do all day while we work and play, at night while we rest?  What do the Holy Ones practice?  How does one live in God’s City?  What is Divine Activity?

Psalm 85 tells us.  It is the place where peace and justice kiss.  It is the perfect meeting place for acts of love and acts of witness to that love.  It cannot be more simple.  It cannot be more challenging.  It cannot be more rewarding.  It cannot be more fulfilling.

Written on August 23, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

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