June 10, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 85 and its enchanting metaphors for heavenly bliss:
- glory dwells with us
- kindness and truth meet
- justice and peace kiss.
- truth springs out of the earth,
- justice looks over heaven’s edge
Our souls long for such an environment, don’t they?
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul says that the way to find it is to remove the veil from our hearts:
… whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed.2 Corinthians 3:16-18
Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom.
All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
as from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Our prayer with Psalm 85 today might echo that of Rev. Christine Robinson, Minister Emerita of the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
O God, you have given us a beautiful earth—
Grant us the wisdom to use it well.
Lead us to an inner life in which we can rejoice.
Speak peace to us, that we may live in peace.
May your mercy and truth meet together
Righteousness and peace kiss each other,
Surrounding us with your light.
Help us know true prosperity,
And be gentle with your Earth.
Guide our feet in the ways of peace.
Poetry: Lift Not the Painted Veil – Percy Bysshe Shelley
The advice in this poem by Shelley is a rather gloomy antithesis of Paul’s advice to the Corinthians (kind of like looking at the negative instead of the photograph, for those of us who remember the non-digital dream 😉) Still, the poem’s images offer much to think about if we choose not to “lift the veil”.
Lift not the painted veil which those who live Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there, And it but mimic all we would believe With colours idly spread,-behind, lurk Fear And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear. I knew one who had lifted it-he sought, For his lost heart was tender, things to love, But found them not, alas! nor was there aught The world contains, the which he could approve. Through the unheeding many he did move, A splendour among shadows, a bright blot Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
Music: Layers of Tranquility- Karunesh