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119:176 – faithfully straying 20 September 2006

Posted by Dr Moose in Uncategorized.
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(Category: faith)

As you may be able to tell, I should be doing something else. I have found the delight of the simple things, spending time talking to folks in MLPK, time in being. Which is making the work that really needs to be done (writing the monthly “Minister’s Musings” for The Kings Hill Directory) unattractive at best, near impossible at worst.

But to the point. At Morning Prayer this morning I was struck by the final verse of the Psalm. Verse 176 of Ps. 119:

I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.

I’m no expert on the Psalms. I know we in the C of E are meant to use them weekly. I know they are, to say the least a mixed bag, with some wonderful and some terrible parts, especially if you try to fit them into a cosy “nice” Christianity (because in places you can’t). In some places they are distinctly discomforting, but this caused me to ponder:

I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.

The Psalm, besides being the longest in the book, eulogises on the place of the Law. On faithfulness to God’s precepts. The psalmist seems to rejoice in the Word of God, and on the whole be pretty sure of the right things due to him because of his righteousness. And yet he can still say:

I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.

A sure corrective to our narrow triumphalisms, of whatever stripe they are: liberal, evangelical. catholic, fundamentalist, charismatic, bland-middle-of-road-ism. The ability, even in the midst of the individual certainty of faithfulness, to acknowledge our lostness and need of being found.

For today I find that humbling and comforting.

I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.

How about you?

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