Hating the Anointed
This is a super difficult portion of the psalm for me. The psalmist is clearly angry, angry with a leader who has in some way failed him or his expectations. And he projects his anger and his own vengeance on God.
Let me be clear that I don’t think God ever participates in hate. Not even in the worst of situations or against the most sinful of people. Everyone is a beloved child of God. But in our meaning-making, we love to project God’s justice.
And we want people to hear our complaint, our cry, our righteous indignation. And for those of us who are oppressed, it may even be important to justice for our situation to be acknowledged, to be understood, to be reconciled.
But let us work on our anger, our hate. Let us choose instead to respond as a parent might to an erring child. Let us include the one we worry about, or the one whose actions we abhor, in our prayers. Because it is their choices, their actions, we abhor, surely, not them as people?
And in this election year, let us resist the constant drumbeat to see our political opponents as enemies, as evil. Because they too, even they, are beloved children of God. And they deserve our prayers, our care, yes, even our love, just as much as those we agree with, that we are in harmony with.
Instead of fasting from food, fast from hate. When someone does something that bothers you, whether it is a family member, a neighbor, or a lawmaker you read about in the news, respond as if they were a beloved child of someone. Because they are. Of God.
Julie Holm is the pastor of the Brush Valley Fusion of Faith, a charge in the UCC and ELCA located in Rural Central Pennsylvania, and is the editor of this devotional. She is also the artist at Spirit Descending Vestments.
©2020 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.