Obedient Gratitude — Grateful Obedience: A reflection on Psalm 81

Miriam’s Dance (from Miniatur aus dem bulgarischen Tomić Psalter), 1360, Tarnovo art school

Today’s daily meditation in Living Faith is one of mine. The reading is:

Take up a melody, and sound the timbrel,
the pleasant harp and the lyre…
For it is a statute in Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

– Psalm 81:3, 5

Here’s part of my reflection:

This may feel a bit foreign to the modern reader. We’re told we are required by law to celebrate. The word “ordinance” could also be translated as “right,” so we’re being told not just that God is asking for our celebration and honoring, but that it is owed to God.

It’s an odd concept in our anti-authoritarian culture filled with messages of free will. It certainly was for me — raised to be a self-made rugged individualist. But to the ancient Hebrew psalmist, it isn’t a matter of coercion by an unwelcome authority. It’s not a law being imposed on us. It is simply truth: God made us and saved us, so we owe God reverence and sole devotion…

Please read my full reflection here.

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About Phil Fox Rose

Phil Fox Rose is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. He is the editor of Paraclete Press; coordinator of Contemplative Outreach of New York, helping promote centering prayer, which has been his contemplative practice for nearly 20 years. Raised atheist by ex-Mormons, Phil has journeyed through Quakerism, deep ecology, Buddhism and Catholicism. Now he's a congregant, presider, cook and leadership team chair at St. Lydia's, an awesome dinner church in Brooklyn, NY, and spends as much time in nature as possible. Phil has been a political party leader, videographer, tech journalist, punk roadie, software designer, sheepherder, stockbroker and downtempo radio DJ. A common thread is the process of learning about stuff, figuring it out and then sharing that understanding with others. Follow Phil by RSS feed, email, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


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