Monday, December 31, 2007

End of the year thoughts

This is presumably my last post for 2007. I am off to a party yet this evening. 2007 has been an eventful year for me on a number of levels. I am amazed at what has gone on in my life and in the life of our nation and The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, and the whole world. There is much to think about and reflect on. I'm not sure I'm glad that 2007 is over, but I have high hopes for 2008, both personally as well as professionally. My prayer is that you will as well.

On this last night of 2007, I was particularly struck by the aptness of the Psalm appointed for Eve of the Holy Name, which we celebrate tonight. The focus on time was perfect,I thought. See what you think:

Domine, refugium
  1. Lord, you have been our refuge *
    from one generation to another.
  2. Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or the land and the earth were born, *
    from age to age you are God.
  3. You turn us back to the dust and say, *
    "Go back, O child of earth."
  4. For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday
    when it is past *
    and like a watch in the night.
  5. You sweep us away like a dream; *
    we fade away suddenly like the grass.
  6. In the morning it is green and flourishes; *
    in the evening it is dried up and withered.
  7. For we consume away in your displeasure; *
    we are afraid because of your wrathful indignation.
  8. Our iniquities you have set before you, *
    and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
  9. When you are angry, all our days are gone; *
    we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
  10. The span of our life is seventy years,
    perhaps in strength even eighty; *
    yet the sum of them is but labor and sorrow,
    for they pass away quickly and we are gone.
  11. Who regards the power of your wrath? *
    who rightly fears your indignation?
  12. So teach us to number our days *
    that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
  13. Return, O LORD; how long will you tarry? *
    be gracious to your servants.
  14. Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning; *
    so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
  15. Make us glad by the measure of the days that you afflicted us *
    and the years in which we suffered adversity.
  16. Show your servants your works *
    and your splendor to their children.
  17. May the graciousness of the LORD our God be upon us; *
    prosper the work of our hands;
    prosper our handiwork.


PS - The painting is "Saturn Overcome by Amor, Venus, and Hope" - Vouet, ca. 1645.

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