Todays readings.. Leviticus 19, Psalm 119: 81-128, Luke 2
The intensity of spiritual thought to be found in Psalm 119 invites our deepest reflection and meditation. The Psalmist is contemplating how the reality of his relationship with God penetrated all spheres of his life. As we read this Psalm it impels us to treasure God’s word as the springboard of all our really worthwhile meditation. “How sweet are your words to my taste. Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” [v.103,104]
How much does our meditation lead us to hate every false way? The philosophy of today is not to “hate” anything, everything is to be tolerated. The uninspired human heart stumbles along in its blindness.
Can we say with the Psalmist, “Oh how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day … I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.” [v.97.99] He tells God, “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart” therefore “I hate the double minded, but I love your law.” [v.111,113]
What a human inclination it is these days to be double-minded, our politicians are good at that, but they are only reflecting the attitudes of the many, but the Psalmist, who – let us not forget – is addressing God, says, “All the wicked of the earth you (will) discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies. My flesh trembles for fear (awe) of you …” [v.119, 120] and asks, “Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love.” [v.124]
Do we ask that? Our readings in Luke’s Gospel details one person who was particularly aware of that – and overwhelmed by that! We read yesterday of Mary saying, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices…” Today we read the testimony of the shepherds who came to see the babe lying in a manger and told Mary of their experience and what they had heard.
And Mary “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” [2 v.19]. When Mary and Joseph bring the babe to Jerusalem, Simeon a “righteous and devout man …. Blessed them and said to Mary…. Behold this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed … so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” [v.25,34,35]
Thoughts revealed? Well, just look at the reactions of those jealous of Jesus! Look at the heart searchings’ of those who started to follow him and then left (John 6 v.60, 66) Yes, God can read all thoughts, he can see how well we are responding to the teaching of Jesus and whether we are meditating like the Psalmist! Or are we meditating at all? It takes someone like David to meditate all the day?
But God knows what is happening in our hearts. Your heart?