28 May 2009

Lectio Divina

In the Psalms for this morning's office (specifically the last one, Ps. 135), I noticed something I'd not before. Verses 6-11 confess the Lord's work through the length and breadth of the world. He makes the clouds rise, the lightnings flash, the rain and the wind he takes from his storehouses; He strikes down the firstborn of Egypt, etc. Notice the seamless passing from what we'd call first article to second - his works of preservation of the world and his work of rescuing his people. It's helpful to distinguish the two, but they are not divided, for the Doer is the same. How we need to recapture this worldview. To see the rain as coming from His hand; the wind as His; the clouds arising at His summoning. We've come to restrict His presence in our thinking to the places where He manifests His second-article grace, but we should always remember that the One who washes us in Baptism and feeds us in the Eucharist and speaks to us in His word, He surrounds us constantly so that indeed "in Him we live and move and have our being."


Jim said...


That type of movement in the argument happens often in the Psalms, and in many of the songs reported elsewhere in the Bible (as I recall).

Even more, when we look up at the sky, the blue reminds us of the waters above the firmament that are the floor of God's throne room (Gn 1.7, Ex 24.10, Ps 148.4, etc.). The stars and moon are not just for seasons, but are for festival seasons (not that we're bound to those seasons in the New Testament, of course). And his glory is brighter than the sun at midday.

Rev. James Leistico said...

your post got me thinking about the resurrection of the body... A First Article gift? Second? Yes, First through the Second, but the writers of the Creed put it in the Third.

WM Cwirla said...

As Pentecost reminds us, the Spirit who delivers the gifts of the 2nd article also is the Creator Spirit who blew over the waters of creation in the beginning.

Excellent post with manifold applications and implications.

Veni Creator Spiritus.

Chris said...

I would slightly make some changes with your premise, Fr. Weedon. Creation and Salvation are both one and the same act in God's mercy. As the refrain of Psalm 135 goes "His mercy endureth forever." Reading the ancient fathers, we see replete references that even had Adam not sinned, it would still have been necessary for God to become incarnate. Such is the thinking of Athanasisus, Irenaeus and others.

In Orthodox Vespers, we always read (chant) Psalm 103 (104) "Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my god, thou art very great..." which is always linked with the hymns of resurrection which are song with the verses of Psalms 140, 141, 129 and 116. Even the hymn "O Gladsome Light" speaks not only about the setting of the sun but also of the light of salvation come to us in the form of Jesus Christ. In other words, creation and salvation are linked not only by the person doing them, but because they are one and the same. What do you think?

William Weedon said...


Don't disagree fundamentally with that, but think the distinction can be useful if we remember that it is only a conceptual distinction and never let it become a division.

Anonymous said...

If we no longer see the sun, the wind and the rain as coming from God's hand, perhaps we have too few farmers in our churches!
I remember growing up with the surrounding certainty that we could plant and tend but God gave the increase, as well as the weather needed to provide it.

When you work at a job which returns a paycheck at stated intervals, it is sometimes possible to get the notion that what we have is achieved by our own efforts.
Not so.