Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Psalms of David - Psalm 33

"I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth."

"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who hopeth in Him."

"Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile."

Movement of the heart is stilled and quieted through repeated meditation on the sacred name of Jesus. The Jesus Prayer -- "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner" -- is treasured as a blessed, honored way to commune in intimate prayer with the One who fills temples with glory yet inhabits a womb in silence, who blazes fire forth from a tomb in Jerusalem every Pascha, yet who speaks with a still, small voice. When this Messiah is invoked and mercy begged for, not only are our lips sanctified, but our efforts are rewarded with a calming of inner impulses towards all surrounding earthly cares. When we are calmed and sufficiently prepared to hear from God (something today's McMegachurch takes not at all into account), then, in His timing, does He visit those who've tilled the ground of their hearts with the beautiful name of Jesus Christ. We do, indeed, taste and see that our Lord is a good Lover of mankind, for He is not merely content to rid us of the cancerous, diseased existence that is the evil and guile mentioned by David above; He must also fill us with His fear, faith, and love that comes only from an expected visit.

At times expected visits are longer in coming than anticipated...the grave, Hades, the silent silencer, evilly stifled all praise that would have come from it. Its yawning mouth wordlessly destroyed and guilefully consumed all who came to it...until a Word came whose words forced the tomb to reverse its flow, to turn back like Jordan and issue forth a man from it. Soon it would no longer be dictated to but would indeed speak forth a Logos -- though even this would be apart from its own accord. Since then the echo of that Word has left a bitter taste in Hades' mouth -- its evil tongue and guileful lips must always remember both Lazarus' being drawn out and the Word's being spoken from the mouth of the grave. That Word, that Name, is He Whom our lips and heart must ever embrace -- woe to us if our lips honor him apart from our hearts! -- so that our silencing by the grave will not be without a final Word.

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