Dispatch One Hundred Forty-Eight

Posted: April 23, 2015 in Thirty-Fifth Bundle
Tags: , , , ,

PSALM 22:25-31

25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
    my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
    May your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember
    and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
    shall worship before him.
28 For dominion belongs to the Lord,
    and he rules over the nations.

29 To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
    before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
    and I shall live for him.
30 Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord,
31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
    saying that he has done it.

“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord.” The baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch in the story from Acts 8 was the external and ritual demonstration of an inner event of spiritual rebirth. Going under and emerging out of the water symbolized the death of the old self and the coming to life of the new. Whether this process of transformation was ritualized or not, a deep and universal belief among the religions is that salvation necessarily entails a break with the “old order” with all its habits and beliefs, so that life can find release and fulfillment at a higher level.

The psalmist envisions the day when all the peoples of Earth will repent (“turn around,” make a break) and come back to the one true God. It’s interesting that this turning is pictured as coming after a remembering, as if to say that our new life in God is not new at all but is rather something we once enjoyed, a long time ago.

The mystical traditions would go a step further and say that this communion with the Divine is the truth of our existence even now, as it always has been and will be. As our lives take us into the far-flung reaches of the world, our roots remain anchored in God as the ground of our being.

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