Saturday, December 26, 2015

Psalm 96

Year C - Christmas Eve or Blessed Body Eve
December 24, 2015

The NRSV uses the word “before” three times in translating this psalm. 
  • Honor and majesty are before G*D; strength and beauty are in G*D’s sanctuary.
  • Worship G*D in holy splendor; tremble before G*D, all the earth.
  • Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before G*D; for G*D is coming, for G*D is coming to judge the earth.

Ordinarily these are spacial references. Consider the word “before” in reference to time.

Honor, majesty, strength, and beauty begin to define one another in their parallel construct. These come before G*D. G*D waits to judge until these are in place, which preconditions a judgment toward mercy.

Trembling (seatbelt required worship) takes place before G*D can begin to be glimpsed. G*D’s patience in awaiting rather than orchestrating such experiences is a cause for trembling as we waver in our development of a cosmic patience.

All of creation is to sing G*D into being. The cooing of every babe and parent in anticipation of a babe and those with no desire, expectation, or decision to have a babe is prelude to living honor, majesty, strength, beauty, trembling, and a song worth the singing. Finally a judgment comes: Emmanuel. That’s it G*D comes among, amidst, and between these ways of living.

Christmas Eve is not so much about a coming as a before-ing.

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