Psalm 85.10
Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Reflection: The Kiss of Righteousness and Peace :: Guided Prayer
By John Tillman

The poets of scripture were grounded, living in a harsh world, and never shied away from bringing their anxieties and fears before God.

They were no strangers to sinful leaders, sexual scandals, or the horrendous consequences paid by the people of the land for the poor leadership of kings and high officials. As our reading yesterday emphasized, the sheep always suffer for the sins of the shepherds.

God will condemn and judge these incompetent shepherds who do not care for the sheep, but yesterday’s passage was also clear that the sheep are not innocent and too often turn on each other.

Today, we continue, in the face of anxiety, with a meditative prayer based on Psalm 85.

When love and faithfulness meet, righteousness and peace kiss each other. But before that happens in today’s psalm, there is confession and justice, mercy and redemption.

The Kiss of Righteousness and Peace
We cannot reach the kiss of righteousness and peace without passing through wrath and anger via forgiveness.

You, Lord, forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins.
You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.

We waste no energy on denial. We will not rise in anger when accused.
On our knees in humility, we thank you for your forgiveness.

Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?

Every generation blames others.
The old blame the young.
The young blame the old.
And young and old, turn together,
to blame those long dead and those not yet born.

By your watch, Lord, generations are meaningless.
A ticking of the second hand of God.
We will deny no longer the sins of the past.
We will decry no longer the sins of the future.
They are all ours. The blame is on us.
We confess now that there is no “other” generation to blame.

Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

We are like Lazarus, lain dead in the grave.
You let him die in his sickness,
So that he could be raised.
Raise us, Lord. Bring us back to life.

Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.

May we meet with you and you with us.
May our steps follow in your righteousness.
May we bring your kiss of peace to our world.

Prayer: The Morning Psalm
…The Lord shall give strength to his people; the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.. — Psalm 29.11

– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Prayers from The Divine Hours available online and in print.

Today’s Readings
Ezekiel 35 (Listen – 2:21)
Psalm 85 (Listen – 1:25)

Additional Reading
Read More about In Praise of Christ’s Righteousness
We cannot save ourselves. Praise God. God specifically tells Ezekiel that not even the greatest, most righteous men he might trust in would be able to save the nation.

Read More about Battered with Love :: Worldwide Prayer
Oh Lord…You battered me with love, you assaulted me with mercy,
You pierced me through with compassion
and turned my sorrows into peace.

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