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A Christian Psalmist?

Psalm 55

For had it been an adversary who taunted me,

then I could have borne it; *

or had it been an enemy who vaunted himself against me,

then I could have hidden from him.

But it was you, a man after my own heart, *

my companion, my own familiar friend.

We took sweet counsel together, *

and walked with the throng in the house of God.

These words in Psalm 55 pierce my heart because they ring so true. The pain of being deceived and betrayed by a companion, a familiar friend, hurts like fire. As the psalms often do, this one ends with a tone of revenge:

"you will bring the bloodthirsty and deceitful down to the pit of destruction, O God.

They shall not live out half their days, but I will put my trust in you."

As Easter people, people of the New Covenant, people of the Risen Lord, we are able to add forgiveness to the end of this psalm...Not by our own doing, but by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit which knows no boundaries, there is no deception or betrayal that cannot be forgiven. The coming of the Holy Spirit brought a reversal of the Tower of Babel so that we who did not understand each other can now speak the same language...and there is peace in understanding.

It might be a useful activity to add a note of the Christian message of healing and forgiveness to the end of psalms like this. Think of how much that would improve the end of Psalm 137!!!

Enjoy this beautiful setting of the familiar Come Holy Spirit by the choir of St. John's Cambridge and "the waves of overlapping sound, a musical representation of speaking in tongues and the sounds of excited, bubbling and ecstatic sounds of the "gift of the Spirit." (Susanna Gunner, Mapping Pentecost 1)


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