Monday, June 21, 2021 (Day 21)
Katie Snipes Lancaster
Psalm 21 (from Robert Altar’s 2007 translation)
Lord, in Your strength the king rejoices,
and in Your rescue how much the king exults!
The king’s heart’s desire You gave to him,
and his lips’ entreaty You did not withhold.
For you met him with blessing of bounty,
You set on his head a crown of pure gold.
Life he asked You – You gave him, length of days for time without end.
Great is the king’s glory through Your rescue.
Glory and grandeur You bestowed upon the king.
An Opening Word
Psalm 21 is a royal psalm, one in which the king has felt the rescue and blessing of God. His life is long. The enemies have not defeated him. The king is found to be great only because God intervenes. It is a psalm that recognizes that at any moment, the rug could be pulled out from underneath us, and that when things are going along in an agreeable manner, we should not take it for granted. Notice God’s rescue. See the way God’s overflowing liberation and freedom are made known. Observe. Watch. Open your eyes. Where is this kind of inexhaustible concern and sympathy, good fortune or deep gratitude happening in your life?
Today’s mystic is Meister Eckhart. He was born in what is now Germany in 1260 (or thereabouts), and by the age of 17 he was off to become a Dominican monk. He studied Latin, as was the custom of religious contemplatives of that era, and ended up teaching and preaching at the University of Paris. Much of what we know about Meister Eckhart comes from the writings and teachings there at the university, Paris serving as the intellectual hub of the Holy Roman Empire at the time. He fell into obscurity for several centuries after his death, but has had a cadre of renewed interest in the last decades. It is now thought that he influenced the Reformation by way of John Tauler who was relied upon by Luther.
The “prayer” below is more of a theological statement than it is a prayer, but it is the kind of thing that, despite not asking anything specific of God, puts me in the presence of God: that the divine might be found in our deep attentiveness to the smallest creatures of the world.
Prayer from the Mystics: Meister Eckhart (1260–1329)
God, of your goodness,
give yourself to me;
for you are enough for me,
and I can ask for nothing less than
what fully honors you.
And if I do ask anything less,
then I will always be in want,
for only in you do I have everything.