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This week we wrapped up our season in the Psalms. We ended with a double reading, examining both the literal final Psalm in the collection, as well as a Psalm that serves as a benediction, or a sort of sending blessing of closure. We made connections with last week's look at breath, as well as raised questions about praise, God, blessing, and who all of this is ultimately for and about.
We began this wrap-up of the psalms by reading the final Psalm in the psalter, Psalm 150. In this poem, we focused on the word of "praise." This word is loaded with religious jargon, but we interpreted it in a decisively Collective way. Praise, instead of being an emotional manipulation of ourselves to create a 'church experience,' asks us to return to the unconditional--our breathing. We considered how each breath we take comes with a sense of gratitude for being alive, which is, in a sense, a form of praise. By returning to our breathing, we can cultivate this practice of gratitude and sense of connection to life and the divine. This psalm invites us to celebrate, breathe, and focus on the divine moments in our everyday lives--moments that inspire us, move us, connect us to other people deeply.
We then considered Psalm 67, a farewell benediction. This Psalm gives a blessing to all the Earth, all nations, and all people for justice, joy, equality, and goodness. This universal, nonexclusive blessing links back to Psalm 150's reminder that all things which breathe are connected in praising God. This experience described in Psalm 67 is not a religious one, but is human. We considered how this psalm removes the exclusivity of religion from the picture and instead reminds us that the human experience is linked together divinely through the experience of breathing.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
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