Thursday, April 19, 2012

Being who you are

April 22nd  2012 is  the Third Sunday of Easter: Thinking about Psalm 4, 1 John 3:1-6, & Luke 24:36-48

One of the themes that strikes us about Psalm 4 is about being right.
Indeed the Psalm begins:
Answer me when I call O God of my right!
But the passage of 1 John  3 also ends with the quirky little  statement
“Let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous”
The Psalmist, who may indeed have been David but we have no way of knowing for certain,
lives in what Walter Brueggeman calls ‘a culture of shame’
That is, he has been humiliated by lies, gossip and slander.
We all know what this is like.
I still remember how hurt I was when I heard that another priest had slandered me behind my back and called me a fool.
I don’t know why he did it (I could suspect!)
but we are never really sure of what other people’s motivations actually are.
The Psalm suggests that the solution to this
is not madcap defence
but trust in God
If we are right with God then we can stand firm.
Not always easy to do. But it has the ring of truth about it.
St John  is coming at this fropm a slightly different angle.
He suggests that there is a fundamental disconnect
between God’s people and the world
and there is always a sense in which we will be misunderstood
even hated by the world.
John suggests that  what we see in Jesus is the way we ought to be and behave.
That we have an innate knowledge of what is right and also what is wrong.
That to persist in lawlessness: be it cheating, adultery, lying, theft, dishonesty, cruelty is
lawlessness and sin
This is what wreaks havoc in our lives.
But, we also know what is right
and what is good
and like the psalmist who says
“put your trust in the Lord”
so John says “do what is right”
Is there one good thing that I can do?
Is there a place where I feel besieged, yet need to trust

No comments: