Week of Proper 21, Year Two[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 102 (morning) // 107:1-32 (evening)
Our Psalmist this morning expresses deep love for something that is in ruins. The city of Zion was not just a place on this earth, but also a vision of living and flourishing as God’s people. Although this dream has deteriorated and crumbled apart, the Psalmist expects to find God’s compassion and mercy: “You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to have mercy upon her . . . For your servants love her very rubble, and are moved to pity even for her dust.”
Like the Psalmist, many of us love institutions and hometowns, congregations and communities, that are in decline. We may love even their rubble, and feel for their dust. If we are fortunate, we may see in them signs of God’s compassion and mercy. But this compassion and mercy may not prevent them from decay.
As we cherish the dust and rubble of things that are passing away, we can also share the Psalmist’s confidence in things that last. One of these things is God: “They shall perish, but you will endure.” The other thing that does not change is the persistence of people in relationship with God: “The children of your servants shall continue, and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight.”
There is nothing wrong with loving precious ruins. But in the midst of whatever rubble we love today, may we hold even faster to the enduring presence of God, and live in hope for people who will know and abide in that presence one day.
Lora Walsh blogs about the Daily Office readings at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.