Sunday, April 5, 2020

"where no fear was..."

"where no fear was..."

This will be a very brief post. My friend, Nancy, shared this extraordinary recording of "Psalm Fifty-three," in Aramaic -- as it was sung in a Georgian church for the Pope's visit.

I couldn't help but wonder, "why the 53rd Psalm?" So I went to my Bible and read along -- not that I thought, for a moment, that I would have the words in the right place - but the sounds were there. Yes, they were plaintive, hungry, hopeful. But it was when my eyes landed on this passage from Psalm 53:5, that I felt it in my bones:

“There were they
in great fear,
where no fear was..."
For me, this is the entire message of the 53rd Psalm. One doesn't have to get the words in the right place, in order to feel the power of this psalm in the language Jesus would have known it in.

I can't help but wonder, if, as David wrote this psalm, he wasn't looking into his own heart and feeling the power of self-examination. Was he the "fool" he is referring to in opening passage? Is he the one whom he realizes is seeing his brother man as "corrupt." Is this the fear that he, later in the psalm, realizes - "no fear was?"

I found it so moving to hear this psalm in Aramaic - the language of Jesus, who knew these songs of his ancestor so well. Jesus, who experienced them so deeply. Who, as we know - from his referencing Psalm 22, on the cross - turned to them in times of heartbreak and trial. Would he have recited them, or sung them out from a heart full of longing?  Would he have hungered to know when "the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion, and Israel would rejoice."

Just as these psalms were "at hand" for Jesus, they are here for us -- to turn to in moments of isolation, darkness, and hope.

We - as brothers and sisters in God's love - are as one in our longing to feel His grace resonating through us, and resting on our loved ones, our neighbors, and our global care-community -- as this choir is in its deeper harmonies.

offered with Love,


You might also like this beautiful recording of our "Lord's Prayer," in Aramaic.

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