Preacher: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”
Seeker: All that is with me? The fatigue, the frustration, the helplessness, the sorrow? All the emotions that are jumbled within me?
Preacher: You know, most people assume that the “all” means all their abilities and possessions. But you are right seeker, everything that is contained and bound up in our human body, mind, and spirit can be put into blessing the Lord God. And don’t think that the Lord God does not want to hear about all the so-called “negative” stuff. The psalmist, you may remember, brought a large load of tangled emotions to the Divine.
Seeker: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits– who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” I am glad, Preacher, to “unload” all that I have to the Lord God in prayer.
Preacher: “The LORD works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.”
Seeker: “He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.” So if the Divine revealed the God-Self, how did the called and chosen people of that time go so astray several generations down the line?
Preacher: The same way, I guess, that modern Christianity got so off the established trail. Although I think it might have taken longer after Jesus Christ. Humanity has an innate skill, with and despite all the best advantages and teaching, to get itself into major troubles.
Seeker: Thank the Divine “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
Preacher: “He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever.”
Seeker: “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.” The psalmist, if it was King David, must have known that first hand. But, Preacher, what we have done in our modern times is far beyond what King David did. Maybe not so far beyond some of the rulers of Israel and Judah though. Modernity and intellect tends to educate a person in how far from the Lord God one can stray. I look at our current world . . . . and am aghast at what is said and done. How did humanity get so far away from the Lord God? And can we get back?
Preacher: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.” You know, Seeker, it is not surprising that wide gulf between us and the Lord God gets so filled up with sin and wickedness. To turn a phrase, human nature abhors a vacuum! But seriously, as poorly as humanity acts, we are never so far from the Divine that we cannot be brought back. The apostle Paul spoke to that.
Seeker: “As a father has compassion for his children, so the LORD has compassion for those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:1 – 13) Actually even more compassion than a human parent, that is what the Divine shows to us.
Preacher: The realization of that brings me back to the opening verse . . . . “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”
Seeker: The Lord God already knows the pain, turmoil etc we are going through. Bringing it to the Lord God and asking that it be offered up to the Divine to be used as seen fit, or to be blown away like chaff, that is one of the things that will bring us, humanity back to a stronger belief and devotion to our faith.
Preacher: Selah & Shalom, Seeker, Selah & Shalom!