This morning as I was preparing breakfast, I turned on the news, which is a normal occurrence for me. I guess you can say, while I'm making food, I like the background noise. But as I was watching, coverage began for the Funeral Service for the late Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader-Ginsberg.
While we were watching, a couple of things struck me. I made a comment to Miranda that no matter where you stand politically, when you see a flag-draped coffin, it makes you pause. You begin to think about what that flag means; what it represents, and how much a symbol it has become. You think about the men and women who have given their lives in service of that flag. You think about the the beauty of it and, to some, the controversy. But at the end of the day, it is something that belongs to all of us who call ourselves "American."
While the honor and symbolism is palpable in an event like the funeral service of a Supreme Court Justice, and while I could feel my patriotism flowing through me, this was not what struck me the hardest.
Most know that Justice Ginsberg was Jewish. Her faith was important to her, as it is to us. So naturally, her service was begun by a Jewish Rabbi. When she began the service, she alternated speaking in Hebrew and speaking in English as she read the traditional Jewish prayers and scriptures. But there was one moment when I was overwhelmed with emotion. When the Rabbi recited the 23rd Psalm in Hebrew, I felt like I was hit with a ton of bricks.
The words spoken in Hebrew flow with a hauntingly beautiful cadence. Every single word, dripping with a deep and rich tradition. It was almost too much to bear. The weight of the passage was suffocating. Then I thought about what it all means.
This "Song of David" is one that we often hear at funerals, even in the Christian Faith. It is one that speaks hope in the midst of hopelessness, peace in the midst of fear, joy in the midst of sadness, and even life in the midst of death. It is a perfect understanding of the Grace of God; that even in the midst of "my enemies" God comforts and protects, and that even beginning in this life, we can "dwell in the House of the Lord forever."
It is no secret that our country is torn in two. It seems like every single day we hear a little bit more of the velcro that holds the two sides together ripping apart. The longer this all goes on, the more I realize how much our politics is just another symbol of all that is wrong in this world. Hypocrisy, lies, attacks, and media spin, it also is too much to bear.
What a better scripture than the 23rd Psalm to remind us who is on the throne. Who it is that takes us to peaceful places, who takes us to a place where we can drink the living water safely; who it is that restores everything, even our souls, and shows us the proper way to walk. Who it is that allows us to fear nothing in this life; who beats off the wolves, and who provides protection. It reminds us that we are all his children, that our "enemies" are also loved by him, and that it is Him, and Him alone who provides for all our needs.
May you be blessed today by the words of the Psalmist, David. May they bring you peace and comfort.
Let us Pray,
God of us all, you are ever more ready to hear than we are to pray. You know our needs before we ask, and our ignorance in asking. Give to us now your grace, that as we shrink before the mysteries in this life, that we may see the light of eternity. Help us to live as those who are prepared to die. And when our days here are accomplished, enable us to die as those who go forth to live, so that living or dying, our life may be in you."