Tag Archives: Psalm 42

On them he has set the world

He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts up the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
The pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
and on them he has set the world. (1 Samuel 2:8)

In Rembrandt’s depiction of the Presentation, the aged Simeon is worshiping God in the Temple as the child Jesus is placed into his praying hands.

Simeon is one of the “pillars of the earth,” a devout person who can say with the Psalmist that:

The Lord grants his loving-kindness in the daytime;
in the night season his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42:10)

Into his outstretched arms, onto this pillar of the earth, Mary and Joseph set the world.

Just as Simeon is no mere old man, the child Jesus is no mere boy. The Word made flesh, without whom nothing was made that was made, rests in the praying arms of a strong tower, if we but had the eyes to see it.

What child do you know who is more than just a child, who represents the hopes and fears of a family?

What older person have you met whose strength, whose faithful wisdom, is hidden from view?

The Psalmist asks the question we might ask in our blindness, and then answers the way Simeon, a pillar of the earth, might answer.

Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul,
and why are you so disquieted within me?
Put your trust in God;
for I will yet give thanks to him,
who is the help of my countenance, and my God. (Psalm 43:5-6)


Holy, good, and peaceful

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord. (BCP 122)

Today I am grateful.

I was fortunate to spend a couple of holy hours this morning with three people who are in a process of vocational discernment.

We reflected on the promises made by all Christians in the Baptismal Covenant (BCP 304) and the promises made by those being ordained as bishops (BCP 518), priests (BCP 531), and deacons (BCP 543).

We also shared which qualities — from any or all of those promises — we see operating in each other’s lives. It was both affirming and eye-opening.

This afternoon, Lovely Wife and I have been reading and dozing on our patio, enjoying the sound of birdsong and the breezes through our Japanese garden. It’s been a good Sabbath afternoon.

And even though I’m not watching the news, I am mindful of the blessing of peace that we enjoy.

Pray for those “who go so heavily while the enemy oppresses [them]” (Psalm 42), and work to make God’s peace come alive for all.