“The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, deluded forever; but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms . . .” George Santayana
The Book of Psalms in the Old Testament of the Bible is a collection of ancient Hebrew poem-songs (written between 3500 and 2500 years ago) that demonstrates the truth of the philosopher Santayana’s description about the world. Here we find poems that celebrate beauty, nature, creativity, forgiveness, and love and that also include poems that wrestle with lament, grief, confusion, death, hurt, fear, and anger. No emotion is too big or two small, no feeling too positive or “negative,” for the authors of this book who chose to be honest before Yahweh/God/Allah or whatever word it is we use for the Holy One. The psalms are a human encounter with the Divine.
During the Season of Advent, a Christian tradition that sets aside the four weeks before December 25 as a time for introspection, preparation, and stillness, and during this “season of light in the darkness” when Hanukkah and Diwali are also observed, the daily scripture readings include a psalm. Reflecting on these poems or songs about the human heart and its connection with God is a way to keep us rooted in the universal Reality of Love, a love that does not change while the world around us seems to do so every second. Each psalm, in its own way, becomes a flicker of light and hope in a dark world. Each psalm has a whispered message for us.
Advent is a journey toward the celebration of Love, of welcoming “God-with us” and honoring the “God-in-us,” each one of us. No matter how you experience the presence of God or a Higher Being, I invite you to join me in reflecting on one word a day from an Advent psalm.
Blessings ~ Rosemary
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