OWL Scripture Reflection – Spring 2021
See how good, how pleasant it is
for God’s people to live together as one!
It is like precious oil on Aaron’s head
running down on his beard,
running down to the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Mount Hermon,
Falling on the hills of Zion.
for that is where Yhwh bestows the blessing—
life that never ends. [The Inclusive Bible]
It’s Pride season, and I’ve been asked to preach at a local church in my area one Sunday in June. This Psalm is one of the lectionary readings for the day I am scheduled to give the message.
These words speak to me of that feeling I get when I glimpse what it could be like to live in a world where there is peace, and we all get along; where diversity is glorified, evil is vanquished, and curiosity triumphs over fear.
In a commentary about this passage, H. Macmillan writes, “The dew of Hermon and the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, to which the psalmist referred — differs entirely from the ordinary dew of our country — and is a phenomenon peculiar to Palestine and the East. It is a soft mist that comes from the Mediterranean during the summer, when the heat is greatest, and the country is burnt up with the terrible sunshine….. It comes first of all to Mount Hermon, and helps to keep up its unchanging robe of snow, and to fill its springs, and feed its cedars, and then it flows down and makes the corn to grow green in the valleys, and the vines to swell out their purple grapes in the vineyards, and the lilies to unfold their crimson radiance in the fields. …. They are mutually dependent upon each other. The lowly plain does not envy the lofty mountain; nor does the lofty mountain look down in contempt upon the lowly plain.” (www.biblehub.com)
I yearn for more glimpses of ways we can live together as one. Signs of relationships where we know deeply how interdependent we are. Times when one identity does not look down in contempt upon any other. When one religion does not look down in contempt upon another. When our bodies do not look with contempt upon our spirits, nor our spirits look with contempt upon our bodies. When I am lucky, I can imagine this for a few seconds, even feel it deeply in my soul.
Recently, I watched my colleague-friend, Rev. Davi Weasley in Bellingham, WA, lead a beautiful opening to a prayer time. They invited us to take oil and find a pulse point on which to place our oily fingers….to feel that pulse and hear “beloved….beloved…beloved” in time to the beating of our hearts.
The thing is, justice work around sexuality education is often not harmonious, or unifying, or conflict-free. This road often feels long, full of potholes and mine fields and detours and dead ends. It can be downright scary and dangerous to tread on avenues leading to preserving choice and bodily agency and the right to exist and celebration of diversity, particularly in a Christian context. And maybe, we need not wait for the dew to come while we navigate these hot spots, because God has already sent the dew, and it is flowing through our veins, where we can find it any time we need it, by stopping….breathing…..finding a pulse….and listening for that still small voice whispering “beloved” over and over and over again….