Thursday, September 13, 2012

Psalm 19

Pentecost +16 - Year B

Psalm 19

There is experience aplenty. There is not language sufficient to express it. Every expression is an attempt to say more than can be said and a container that captures and constrains some aspect of an experience, portraying it as a complete whole.

The same is true about any attempt to comment on a religious collection. Whether Qur'an, Tanakh, Gospels, Epistles, Book of Mormon, Sutta Pitaka, Upanishads, and on and on - explanations are a second and further distance from the stimulus for the text.

Since we are meaning-seeking creatures we are able to use second, third, or fourth explanations as a trigger for our attempt to hold the day and night in place rather than to be held by them or with them in even larger "hands".

In this Psalm, someone experienced their celebration of a key relationship as a new day in their life. They used their undefinable joy in the event to describe a glimpse of the workings of the universe. Well done? Yes. Sufficient? No. Now we are stuck with undefinable joy as a cover for every jot and tittle of Law.

Sun and moon might bring us laws of motion, but laws of relationship - not so much. And so we continue the struggle to understand experience, to know who we are, to shape a future. This difficulty of expression is no excuse, though, to avoid an on-going wrestling with identity - ours, others, and all.

Homework: write a poem (any form) about the significance of your favorite fingernail or Mars landing or your friend. Share it with no further explanation. Rejoice that you don't even know the half of what you write and that much less of other explanations. Rejoice you can still proceed with these large empty ranges.

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