Second Sunday of Easter – C2
Psalm 118:14-29 or Psalm 150
On the other side of the "gates of righteousness" is the giving of thanks.
Given that there are plural gates, a question arises about what is on this side of a gate. Presumably there are a variety of states/paths that lead to an open gate into righteousness.
One way of approaching is to know how seriously life must be taken on this side of the gate that it might be contrasted with the thanksgiving on the other side. Otherwise, what is the purpose of a gate but to separate dissimilar states of being?
Another way is to presume that like calls to like. If we don't begin with the joy of thanksgiving on this side of the gate we will never find it on the other side. And so an appropriate living pattern would be that of joy practiced and fulfilled now as well as later.
One way to practice this is to take the Kipling poem that follows and see each of the choices as a gate. How many gates to righteousness can you identify?
Another way is to substitute the word "praise" or "joy" in the "if" phrases (e.g., If you can keep your joy/praise when all about you ....). Here we can see how praise and joy are connected both inside and outside a righteous gate.
If... by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!
= = = = = = =
praise is a this world endeavor
done with breath
done with spirit
done with creativity
done with music
done with volume
done with hospitality