A question from Soft Edges: “How does one sing of cosmic holiness in a society that seems unable -- or unwilling -- to imagine anything beyond a private and personal God?”
So often this psalm is read as a top-down power arrangement. It is possible to read it differently by adding a choice of focus to the standardized language.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to a steadfast love [of all creation]; according to an abundant mercy [for all creation] let us start again.”Each of us can cultivate a steadfast and abundant love/mercy relationship with G*D and all creation. This expansion of individual responses to community and creation deepens our individual experience with that of innumerable others.
“Restore to me the joy of [making everyone and everything healthy], and [together] sustaining a willing spirit.”
This psalm, too easily seen as a me-and-G*D moment, needs to remember the end of the Psalm that begins,
“Do good to Zion [to see all working together]; [together let us] rebuild safety within Jerusalem.”Of course folks can stick to a personalized contriteness, but can be even more energizing to enter into a partnership with G*D rather than just having an appeasement policy. Blessings to you on seeing love and mercy as issues larger than just identified as being for me/we.