Thursday, August 19, 2021 (Day 75)
Katie Snipes Lancaster
Psalm 75 (adapted from Robert Altar’s 2007 translation)
When I seize the appointed time,
I myself shall judge rightly.
Earth and its dwellers would melt,
had I not set fast its pillars.
I said to the revelers,
Do not revel, and to the wicked,
lift not your horn.
Lift not your horn on high.
You would speak arrogance
against the Rock.
For not from the east
and not from the west
and not from the desert
is one lifted up.
An Opening Word
In Psalm 75, God is speaking. God is the “I” here, the judge and savior. God is seeking humility from the party-goers and war-mongers, asking that they give up pride and vanity, and see what divine providence has given. The very air we breathe, the very bread of the earth, the crops, any semblance of protection or provision is the gift of God. It could be directed at any of u, really, for we each at times, go about our days under the impression that “we” have done something to deserve the unending grace and gift of life so provided us. In that way this is not necessarily a comfortable or comforting Psalm but it is an important reminder of how we might be counted among the righteous instead of the wicked: humility, gratitude, and praise to God, the source of all.
Mysticism also hopes for humility, gratitude, and connection to God-as-source-of-all. Carl McColeman suggests that a mystic is “someone who knows God, who embodies the presence of God, and whose life has been transfigured by this divine presence… mystics embody love.” In that way the Gospel writer and evangelist John, can be counted among the mystics. John is the one from whom we receive these words of love from Jesus: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” and “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” and again, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John is sharing with us a vision of love-made-knowing-in-Christ that invites us into union with God.
Prayer from the Mystics: John the Evangelist
As the Father has loved me,
so I have loved you;
abide in my love. Amen.