This morning, I am formally switching to the Daily Lectionary Cycle, and will use it from now on as my basis for the lectio reflections. This way, the full spectrum of feast days and observances will be observed…and a reflection on the Psalms will be maintained.
So, today is the Feast of Roland Allen (d. 1947), an Anglican priest and missionary who studied the missionary movements, its ethos. He favored a framework that didn’t impose a Western understanding, but rather fostered a sense of self-propagation within new churches.
The psalm for today is a portion of 51, Miserere mei, Deus, which asks for God’s mercy. It is another of one of the psalms that I now refer to more and more as “the refuge psalms,” “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful, for I have taken refuge in you…”
This morning, I especially like this one section, verse 8 in my version, that reads
“Wake up, my spirit;
awake, lute and harp;
I myself will waken the dawn.”
I love this image of having one’s spirit waking up….which of course implies that there was a prior sleepiness of spirit. There was a time in which a person was not aware…oblivious….dull…. It reminds me of classes with Brueggemann when we discussed the desire of the prophets to awaken the community. Brueggemann called this dullness of the people “psychic numbness.” There does seem to be this lull…this gravity that creeps in… Maybe it always has sway because of our human nature, but through our practice and prayer, we are made lighter.
On a similar note, we have this same dynamic of waking up with the disciples and Jesus on the road to Jericho. Jesus explains to them what will happen..gives them a glimpse. But “they don’t understand.” They continue walking and encounter a blind man, who is brought to Jesus. “What do you want?” Jesus asks him. “I want to see.” And the man was made well. And, the disciples encountered this experience of divine glory….
Maybe, in this way, this sense of being made lighter….invited to be awake…is our experience of conversion…of having our minds renewed….of gaining a glimpse of God’s power at work around us and within us…