Daily Meditation: November 13, 2021

by Marsden Moran on November 15, 2021

Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to another. Before the mountains were brought forth, or the land and the earth were born, from age to age you are God. You turn us back to the dust and say, "Go back, O child of earth." For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past and like a watch in the night. You sweep us away like a dream; we fade away suddenly like the grass. In the morning it is green and flourishes; in the evening it is dried up and withered. So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.

- Psalm 90:1-6, 12 Domine, refugium

Never let an empty dumpster go to waste. That’s what I always say.

It seems my Mid-city neighbors agree. Outside my second-floor, studio window, the carpenter shop downstairs rolled a dumpster filled with wood scraps and sawdust into the street. Immediately, the neighborhood began dumping their spent Halloween pumpkins into the bed of shavings. The pumpkins, with sunken, decaying grimaces, seem to be staring up at me from “the pit,” like vanquished demons from the Book of Revelation. How timely. We are entering the last fortnight of our Christian year and our Lectionary dishes up a steady diet of Revelation. Two weeks from tomorrow is Advent I, daybreak of a new year.

This is a time of transition. We move from a year completed and known. We look ahead into a new year that stands before us fresh and uncertain. I feel at once expectant and vulnerable. It is in these weeks that my inner Jew asserts itself from within my insular Christian identity. Preparing for the arrival of the promised Messiah is a very Jewish-feeling observance.

As the Psalmist of our ancestors sings, we are God’s bright dream. In our youth we were like a meadow of lush, green grass; but now we are browning with divots and weeds -- yet we are always loved and protected. With the passage of each year, the rest of the promise; that I will return to the dust from which I came; seems ever more real. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not maudlin about the terms of the Promise. I feel grateful that I am still enjoying days of Joyful refuge, and I get to wake up each morning with a fresh assignment to be God’s hands and voice and dance partner and purse. Jeez, I think I hear Wisdom chanting in the temple of my thoughts.

Musical Reflection - Avinu Malkeinu (Our God and King) – Shira Choir ft. Shulem Lemmer

אבינו מלכינו ״מקהלת שירה״ ושלום למר

Lord, into the starry night of your birth, we will soon call out these words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Sweet Jesus, help us to understand the eternal sweep of your presence. Help us to drop the theological hyphen we often place between our Jewish self and our Christian self. Amen.