Once a month now at the Sophia Center we have a noon gathering to ponder the lectionary psalm of the day. A few months ago it happened that a section of the longest psalm in the Bible (PS 119) showed up on our meeting day. As I thought about how to present this snippet of a greater whole, I found my answer in a section of commentary that said, “Experiences are often repeated again and again. As we go over the same territory learning in new ways, truth becomes grounded…” The six chosen verses for that day were in the same section but not tightly sequential. Our normal practice is to read what appears just once through, either by one person, antiphonally (alternately by two groups), or all together. I decided to experiment by having each participant read one verse that we then commented upon before going on to the next one. The result was quite profound. There were six of us present that day. Six different voices describing the same sentiment deepened the meaning and solidified it in our hearts. And then the next verse built upon that deepening.
Today we gather again and today we have a similar situation as verses 41,43,44,45,47,48 of Psalm 119 compose the text of our reflection. The sentiments in my favorite translation (Ancient Songs Sung Anew) offer us, I am certain, the potential for as meaningful experience as before if we take the time to listen deeply to each other. Won’t you join us by reading each line aloud several times and hearing it reverberate throughout your being? I guarantee that it will be a worthwhile endeavor.
41: For the sake of the covenant we keep between us, Lord, let your love descend and hold me fast. 43. Allow my mouth to utter words of truth, this Torah of the heart. 44. Which I shall trust and keep forever. 45. And then in freedom I will walk upon your path and know these precepts are yours alone. 47. I’ll bind them to my heart with deepest joy, 48. For I love and worship all you love, my Lord. I meditate upon this inner bread.