Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9

Pentecost +14 - Year B

So what keeps us tied to outdated rules based upon a once-upon-a-time experience, enshrined rather than learned from? One reality is the way power co-opts religious imagery to equate itself with G*D and is unchallenged in its arrogance.

A shift from an official version reveals how we need to take a look at much of the scriptures through the lens of a political convention. Attend to the subtle things like color choices, whether a speech is directed to the immediate audience or a media-extended one, and repetition of phrases (to mention only three). Noting such details help immunize us against easy manipulation (none of us are exempt, but we can make the manipulator’s work more difficult).

I thought you might appreciate Jim Taylor’s paraphrase of this pericope. Here is his intro, re-write, and notice about how you can receive more like it.

The NRSV calls Psalm 45 an “Ode for a Royal Wedding.” Indeed, the whole thing, verses 1-17, does read as a tribute to a royal person entering a new phase of life. However, the excerpt scheduled by the lectionary for Sunday September 1 feels more like sucking up to a corporate CEO. 
1        Thank you for taking time to see me.
       I’m so grateful.
2        I know you have much more important things to deal with;
       you move in circles that are far beyond me.
6        This is a marvelous office you have here.
       The view over the city is spectacular.
       It makes all other corporate towers look insignificant.
7        You make the rules we must follow;
       You brook no exceptions;
       You don’t bend them for anybody.
       We know where we stand.
8        Your business suits must be hand-tailored,
       they fit you so well.
       Is your after-shave custom-made for you too?
9        And your secretary is stunning!
       Oh yes, and competent too.
       She must be a joy to work with.
       I’d love to be more like you. 
For other paraphrases, you can order Everyday Psalms through Wood Lake Publications, or 1-800-663-2775.

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