Thursday, June 15, 2017

Psalmic Sermon of Righteousness

Sermon preached at 
Princeton Theological Seminary
The Rev. Vicki K. Hesse, Engle Fellow

It’s so fun to read others’ letters.   

This fabulous book Griffiin and Sabine offer a hands-on experience of reading the very letters, in the handwriting of each, that these two share a romance of poetry and affection with each other over a year’s time. The story unfolds through the handmade postcards of London card designer Griffin and the mysterious South Pacific islander Sabine.  The pen pals never meet, but their lives are surprisingly parallel in experience as they share their art and poetry making.  

The parallelity (if I can say it that way) is captured in the psalm we have for today – Psalm 112 and it’s companion Psalm 111.  

The juxtaposition of the two psalms is important in hearing God’s love story with humanity.   
Psalm 111 expresses God’s commitment to righteousness and 
Psalm 112 makes a parallel urging about human care for that very righteousness.  

Here is my offering - 

Praise the Lord!  Prayer seeps in my veins with yearning for knowing God’s will *
And delight germinates hope from the green shoot of a smile 
              on the lips of the woman at the bus stop as I drive by.

Great are the ways that God makes God’s self known,
in the rich land that now pours forth food where people were once housed in Detroit. *
              The community garden growers trust in God’s generativity of harvest.

The conversation around that picnic table of buckets of lettuce, turnips and radishes *
              is rich with proof of co-creation from the land by a people of generations who believed.

Those new friends share love in their hearts that came from a God of abundance *
             as their vegetables draw them from all parts of the neighborhood to be with each other.

“It is an honor to work on this garden plot” she said as she knelt to pull the weeds.  *
             “It is the only time that I belong. I am happy to share what little we can grow here.”

And every seed, every raised bed, every pulled weed, every shared morning of work and transplants, *
              proves that God’s righteousness endures for ever.

As we delight in the works of the Lord * 
             we share in God’s love story with humanity.

and all God's people said 



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