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11 August 2015

11.So.n.Trin. / Pentecost 12

Psalm 111

Once upon a time an old Sufi dervish set out to make the Great Pilgrimage to Mecca.

It was a difficult journey under any conditions. This particular year the trek was unusually demanding. The large crowds jostled one another and crowded him off the road. The path was rough and uneven. The sun beat down on the old man's head without mercy.

'I must stop for a while,' the holy one decided.

So he lay down by the side of the road, just outside of Mecca.

He was hardly asleep before he felt himself being shaken roughly awake. 'Sufi, get up,' the imam said. The voice was not kind. The hand was not gentle.

'Some Sufi you are,' the stranger went on. 'You're a disgrace!'

The imam circled around the old man, flailing his hands and shaking his head.

'How dare you lie down at the time for prayer,' he shouted, 'with head turned to the West and your feet pointed toward God in the holy shrine.'

The old Sufi stirred a bit, opened one eye, looked at the man, and smiled. 'I thank you, sir, for your concern,' the Sufi said.

Then he went on, a sly grin playing at the corner of his mouth, 'So before I go back to sleep, would you be so kind as to turn my feet in some direction where they are not pointing at God?'

V. 1
1 Hallelujah. I will give thanks to the Lord wholeheartedly / in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

VV. 2-4
2 Great are the deeds of the Lord, /
Sought out by all who delight in them. 3 Majesty and splendor are his work, / and his righteousness endures for all time. 4 A memorial he has made of his wondrous acts; / showing favor and merciful is the Lord.

VV. 5-9
5 Food he has given to those who fear him; / He will remember for all time his covenant. 6 The strength of his deeds he has made known to his people, / in order to give them the inheritance of the nations. 7 The deeds of his hands are faithful and just; / trustworthy are all of his precepts. 8 They are sustained throughout all time, / to be done in faithfulness and uprightness. 9 Deliverance he has sent to his people; / he has commanded his covenant for all time. / Holy and reverent is his name.

V. 10
10 The beginning of wisdom is
reverence of the Lord; / good understanding comes to all who do it. / His praise endures for all time (NICOT).

[Testing Psm 111; Psm 111 testing; testing]

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