Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Psalm 51:1-17

Year A - Ash Wednesday or Self-Recognition Day
March 5, 2014

Would you attribute steadfast love to your neighbor or environment? If you could see a way clear to do so, you might begin this psalm with:

     Have mercy, O Neighbor, according to your steadfast love.
     Have mercy, O Creation, according to your steadfast love.

Imagine that this lack of imagination is the reason we have a tradition of imposing ashes. We don’t see mercy in one another and, sure enough, it is never there when it is needed.

We are willing to break our heart and have a contrite spirit before G*D, but not before Neighb*r or Earth. Until we can include these, despising continues. What a blessing it would be to all concerned to be able to enlarge the expression of mercy.

While mercy is difficult to measure in others, we should be able to see what this would mean if we added yet another starting spot:

     Have mercy, (your name here), according to your steadfast love.

Where will your ashes of remembrance take you? All the way to remembering your mercy?


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