Advent 3 – Year A
So often we only respond to outcomes. In the eternal political campaign we are in the middle of that parallels the unending war we have preemptively entered, we keep looking for measurable outcomes. Votes are taken, surges are entered into, and we look around for results and are unable to settle on any agreement as to whether we need to keep going or its time to turn around.
A tension in this psalm is that between praise, just because praise is the right thing to do at all times and in all places, and figuring out outcomes from our present mortal princes. This pull between the two cannot be overcome if we stay on the same plane.
Finally the psalmist settles for a longer-view. Even if justice for the oppressed takes longer than my desire, praise is a better way to wait than anxious casting about for evidence that things are getting worse or marginally better.
There is no conclusive evidence that praising is better than demanding outcome-based analyses and results of particular situations. Praise is certainly not to be used to avoid doing the difficult job of discerning or evaluating. Such, though, needs to be done in the context of a larger vision.
John wonders about trusting Jesus and his methodology that takes John's message but implements it in a different manner. The psalmist wonders about trusting princes and G*D, one so immediate and one so some-day.
Whether going on evidence of folks healed or a remembrance of steadfast love, we wrestle with plans and decision-makers in our own ways. Hopefully we will do so with both hard evidence of making-a-difference and an approach to life that anticipates continued care. An example of this is how the downfall of the wicked is intimately tied to the care of the orphan and widow.
Want to be part of a praise team that is more than ecstatic music? Uphold someone today and watch their oppressors or ignorers fall another day. There is a direct relationship between the two and, when you can see it, you'll opt to do your upholding with praise at being partners with G*D in eventual justice.