Season of Advent 2018 Year C – First Sunday: The Psalms Passage – In praise of compassion & goodness

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.” (Psalm 25:1 – 3)

I have been thinking lately about the choices we make – specifically how we chose to interact and treat each other. Maybe it is the time of year, but I have been thinking and pondering about how we relate to the people around us. And it is a choice, beloved reader. We are not “accidentally” mean and callous to others. It is not a “slip of the lip” when we talk in unkind and disrespectful ways to each other. And it is not more difficult to chose to be kind than it is to chose to be mean.

“Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.” (Verses 4 – 5)

It is not even a matter of choosing to be Godly. Even though I am strong a believer in living faithfully and living a Christian life spiritually and morally, I do not think you need to be Godly to be kind, gracious and caring. I have known non-believers who were more kind and caring than some Christians.

This psalm passage admittedly does not echo where my thoughts are today. That is not to say this psalm is contrary to my theme. But neither is the psalmist and I speaking from the same perspective. The writer of the psalm (King David) is asking the Lord God to protect him against those who are set against and to teach him how to live rightly. In the next set of verses King David will also ask the Lord God for mercy and forgiveness.

“Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O LORD!” (Verses 6 – 7)

I have myself pleaded for the Divine’s mercy and restitution when I have gone astray. I guess where I am coming from today is that we can chose to act in such a way that we are in accord with the “ways” of the Lord God.

“Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.” (Verses 8 – 10)

It is my belief, beloved reader, that if you fail often enough to live as the Lord God the Divine instructs and guides – you will eventually learn what you have to do, how you have to act, and what you should say. You CAN learn these things. Then, you will have to chose if you are going to do those things. As we continue in the journey of Advent I am hoping and praying that you, beloved reader, will make choices of caring and being compassionate. If you do, I believe you will find the season of Advent filled with love and joy. Selah!

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