All day long (Romans 10:21)

“ALL DAY LONG I HAVE HELD OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.” —Romans 10:21, citing Isaiah 65:2 How to feel about the recalcitrant? (Here is just another lesson in the long course in imitatio Dei that is the Christian life.) They just don’t get it. Are they incapable of understanding? Do theyContinue reading “All day long (Romans 10:21)”

The choice we make (Psalm 1)

Psalm 1 is about two kinds of people: wicked and righteous. The point is not polarization (setting up an Us versus a Them, two fixed and opposed groups) but moral choice: the whole point is that we can, we inevitably do, decide which type to be, and we are being urged to be one wayContinue reading “The choice we make (Psalm 1)”

Living between divine love and human iniquity (Psalm 36)

Abiding in God’s love does not make us pious dopes who think (or pretend) that everything is always wonderful. It enables us to see evil clearly, call it what it is, and understand that in the end it is powerless before the power of Love.

Psalm 119:17–24 (Gimel)

What is my relationship with Scripture? How do I experience it? How do I describe it? What is it to me? In certain stages of my formation there were voices that emphasized words like “inerrancy.” In truth, though, despite my formation in evangelical circles, these were never the voices of my own teachers. To beContinue reading “Psalm 119:17–24 (Gimel)”

You thought that I was one just like yourself (Psalm 50)

Psalm 50 opens with an announcement of coming of God to call the people of the covenant to account. On the day of judgment God shines forth and “does not keep silent” but speaks forth. The reader of this psalm should remember the nonsilence of the heavenly Judge with some trepidation on arrival at verseContinue reading “You thought that I was one just like yourself (Psalm 50)”

My voice to the Lord (Psalm 142)

How shall I use my voice? The opening lines of Psalm 142 are striking, with their repeated “qoli le-Adonai”: “My voice to the Lord . . . my voice to the Lord.” I have a voice too. How will I use mine? To whom will I direct mine? I am not in the situation ofContinue reading “My voice to the Lord (Psalm 142)”

When the crowds of followers gather, watch for hypocrisy—in our leaders, in ourselves

“While the crowd was gathered together by the thousands, so as to trample upon each other, he began to speak to his disciples first: take heed to yourselves from the leaven, i.e., hypocrisy, of the Pharisees. And nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be made known. So whateverContinue reading “When the crowds of followers gather, watch for hypocrisy—in our leaders, in ourselves”

How to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122)

Zion, Zionism, and Christian interpretation of the Psalms of Ascents.