Righteousness and Peace Have Kissed Each Other

This meditation is based on a passage for May 31, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Psalm 85

Reflection and Question: The short story and Oscar winning movie, “Babette’s Feast,” by Isak Dinesen, set these lovely images front and center: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Because of the ambiguity of tense in Hebrew, the New Revised Standard Version puts these into the future: “Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.” This psalm is a prayer for revival, and the two verb tenses promise it now and in the future. When have righteousness and peace kissed or will mercy and truth meet for you?

Prayer: May General Loewenhielm’s words be ours, dear God. “We tremble before making our choice in life, and after having made it again tremble in fear of having chosen wrong. But the moment comes when our eyes are opened, and we see and realize that grace is infinite. Grace, my friends, demands nothing from us but that we shall await it with confidence and acknowledge it with gratitude. Grace makes no conditions and singles out none of us in particular; grace takes us all to its bosom and proclaims general amnesty. See! That which we have chosen is given us, and that which we have refused is, also and at the same time, granted us. Ay, that which we have rejected is poured upon us abundantly. For mercy and truth have met together, and righteousness and bliss have kissed one another!” Amen. (Isak Dinesen, Babette’s Feast and Other Short Stories, Vintage Books (1988), pp. 40-41)