Scripture: Psalm 15
Key verse: (1) “O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?”
Reflection: Today I am taking a break from the book of Genesis to focus on a psalm. This particular psalm speaks in a new way to me given the upset and unrest that is present in our country right now. We have all heard the United States Capital building referred to as holy and sacred; the center of our democracy, a symbol of all we hold dear as a nation. The building actually sits up on a hill and so we often hear references to the “Hill” as the place where laws are made and the work of our nation happens. For the Jews, the Temple sat on a hill. It was the place where God lived. It was the heart of the nation and religious life in ancient Israel. Even today, it holds an important place in the life of people in Israel. Who belongs there? Certainly not people who commit acts of violence against others and destroys public property. Psalm 15 is attributed to King David, one of the most revered leaders of Israel. In it, he lays out values to live by describing who may abide in the LORD’s tent and dwell on God’s holy hill. I am drawn to this psalm because the values outlined here can lead to living a more faithful and content life. We know that doing what is right, speaking the truth; holding God in reverence and awe; and living up to God’s values are good, life giving things. Our nation’s highest ideals have been influenced by values such as these. Yet, we all know that there is no comparison between the U.S. Capital building and God’s dwelling place. One is a human institution and the other is a shelter not built with human hands. Abiding in God’s tent is a state of being we carry with us that is the source of our hope and strength. There is a constant struggle for followers of Jesus to be more conformed to the world; following our own desires more than spending time with God. We put ourselves in positions that are not conducive to transformation. I know that at times I fall short of the reminders in this psalm, I want to go my own way and achieve my own agenda. But, with God’s help I can resist these temptations in order that I might discover the life God envisions for me to live. Each of us has an opportunity every day to live out our faith in such a way that others will be blessed. I won’t pretend that this way is an easy one. There are all kinds of obstacles along the way because of our human condition. So, let’s remind ourselves today that it is a great gift to abide in the LORD’s “tent”. The blessings are beyond compare even though the way can be narrow and hard. I hope you will plan to spend some time today reflecting on these words from scripture. As the psalmist says, those who do these things will never be shaken.
Prayer: Gracious God, we are thankful for your unmerited grace that gives us the opportunity to abide in and with you. Help us this day to live like people who abide in your tent and dwell on your holy hill that others might experience your love, mercy and justice through our acts of compassion. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].