Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle? *
who may abide upon your holy hill? - Psalm 15:1
I've been reminded it was Groucho Marx who once said, "I wouldn't want to be in a club that would have me for a member." We find this statement funny, because we know the inordinate amount of energy human beings spend trying to get into one kind of club or another. The need to be accepted, esteemed, welcomed and a part of a tribe seems to be embedded in our DNA. Concurrent with this deep need is also the tendency to judge other people's tribes.
The psalmist is wondering how to get into the best, most exclusive club - God's club. How can I be accepted, esteemed and welcomed by you, God, and be a part of your tribe? If you read the whole psalm, the rules the psalmist assumes need to be followed to be accepted create a pretty steep bar for mere mortals.
This Sunday our readings will address the tension between faith and works. Do we get into God's club by what we profess or how we behave? Does God love a cheerful giver or a faithful heart more? I think it's important to remember that no matter what we believe, or what we do, we all belong to God already. We are all God's own creations, and all beloved by God. Even when we're not paying attention. Even when we make mistakes.
Many of you may be away this Labor Day weekend, so the remnant and I will be praying with you in Spirit and being the church together, as we are every Sunday, no matter which members are able to be here. Thank you all for being cells in the St. James body, whether you are here or in some other place.
This Sunday's readings are HERE. Note that in ordinary time, we are using the readings in "Track 2"