It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rejoice in the Lord, a Reflection on Psalm 97

The lectionary has chosen Psalm 97 as a response to the reading from Acts for the seventh Sunday of Easter. In that passage, the jailer is a convert to Christianity. He had asked, "What must I do to be saved?" Paul and Silas, prisoners, responded by telling him and his household about the Lord.

From Acts, "The entire household rejoiced...." From the Psalm, "Let the earth rejoice...."

In both cases, the appropriate response to the presence, the recognition of the presence of the Lord is to rejoice.

And in both cases, the rejoicer is not a long-time insider. Verse 6 of the psalm includes "all the peoples behold his glory."

In Acts, an earthquake had made possible the escape of Paul and Silas, but they remained in jail so as to keep the jailer from being held responsible for their escape. The ones who had been given rescue in turn chose to rescue their jailer. Verse 10 of the psalm reminds us "The Lord loves those who hate evil; he guards the lives of the faithful; he rescues them from the hand of the wicked."

Paul and Silas were faithful and they were rescued. In the jailer's case, rescue came before faithfulness. For all of them and for us, it is appropriate to sing:
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

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