Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Psalm 130

I have a favourite a book of quotes from the philosopher Cornell West. He wields dancing, jazz-built words, a fierce sense of history, and a huge range of ideas to exhort Americans, especially black Americans, to live lives – and to demand lives -- of justice, love and hope. Like a shot of energy each time I crack it open, this book I keep close is called Hope on a Tightrope.

There is no chapter titled Hope in this book.  There are chapters on Courage, Faith, Wisdom, Family, Love and Service, Philosophy, Identity and Race.  Yet the book is about finding Hope in troubled times. And those chapter headings gather Professor West’s thoughts on Courage, Faith, Wisdom, and all the rest as sources of Hope. These, he says, are places of renewal, stillness and centering before moving on up the frayed rope of western democracy, into the swaying future. These are antidotes to the rush and selfishness and chaos of contemporary life.

Psalm 130 begins in that place of chaos.  The psalmist’s tightrope sways wildly as she considers her disobedience. It stills for a moment when she considers God’s forgiveness, and shivers again as she considers the connection between forgiveness and humility, giftedness and self-giving, reverence and action. What to do? How to walk the tightrope? How to keep confident and open and surefooted?
The answer is to wait. Wait. Stand still and wait for the dawn of redemption. Wait and fully receive the unfailing love of the Lord. Wait for that. Be filled with that. Put your hope there. Then walk on, walk on.

- Julie Poskitt

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