Scripture: Psalm 51:10, 12 (RSV)
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me… Restore to me the joy of thy salvation."
The quality of salvation is joy! God's saving presence, God's integrating grace, God's beauty is delight-full; it tingles and warms, it opens and energizes, it roots us deep and stands us tall.
Imagine this! Salvation is not a cold, long work. It is not a restrained kind of accomplishment. The salvation of the Lord is delightful. Imagine.
I love the word joy, but delight is a more incarnate word for me at the moment. Remember delighting in something, in someone, in some moment? Remember the feeling of it?
Delight comes over me when I am able to receive what is before me. Delight comes out of attentiveness. Delight holds an awareness of the mingling of what I know about what is before me, and what I can never know; and it lets that mixing of mystery and presence be.
Delight expands me. Delight brings me peace. "Restore to me the joy of thy salvation," the poet sings.
In Lent now, with the blessing of ashes upon us reminding us that we are dust and to dust we shall return, we are perhaps better able to return to the delight of the salvation of our incarnating God. Look at all that God does with dust. Look at all that God does with us.
Isn't it delight-full?
Holy One, restore us to the joy of your salvation. Call us back from our distractions to the gift of who and what is before us at this point on our journeys. Baptize us in delight. In the name of the transfiguring one we pray, Amen.
the Rev. Lindsey Levenson Levenson
Pastor of the Buckingham Congregational Church UCC in Glastonbury, Connecticut