Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

Pentecost – Year A

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

From Eugene Peterson's translation – verses 29-30:

You come, and they [all creatures] gather around;
   you open your hand and they eat from it.
If you turned your back,
   they'd die in a minute –
Take back your Spirit and they die,
   revert to original mud;
Send out your Spirit and they spring to life –
   the whole countryside in bloom and blossom.

Here is a model of a generous person, as well as a generous G*D. It raises questions for us about how we hold our hand – open with food, clenched ready to strike; extended to lift up, closed to pound down. The hand here stands for our whole being, not just specific acts that can be counted up and measured.

Here is a prayer from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Christian Prayers and Devotions (page 102) that exemplifies this Pentecostal ethic:

Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, Found Beside a Dead Child
Lord, remember not only the men and women of goodwill, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted; remember the fruits we have bought; thanks to this suffering—our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out all this, and when they come to judgment, let all the fruits which we have born be their forgiveness.

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