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ahikemountainThe book Ancient Songs Sung Anew by Lynn Bauman names Psalm 15 as “Friends of God.” You may recognize it as the one that asks, “Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?” and then proceeds to talk about a clean heart, etc. It’s what we might call an examination of conscience but I prefer, these days, to tweak the vocabulary a bit and call it an examination of consciousness. Bauman’s translation seems to me today to be  helpful as applied to our present-day world. See if you don’t agree.

O God, who of us may approach the summit of your mountain strong? Who may come invited to your presence there? Only those who live their lives devoid of blame, who do what’s right, and from whose hearts truth is the only word; whose mouths are free from hateful words and hands from wrong, who treat their neighbors as their own, their kind; who do not give a place of honor to the evil one, but only to the friends of God. Whose promise is as good as any word they ever give, even in the face of loss or gain. They give and give, and ever give again, without hope of getting in return, and never take a bribe or speak against the innocent. All these shall come at last to you, all these, secure and overcomers, all! All these are ever yours; they’re proven true as your own friends.