Sunday, May 9, 2010
Psalm for Sunday: Psalm 24, Verse 3
Who may climb the mountain of the Eternal? Who may stand in God's holy place?
We all climb this mountain every day, whether we know it or not. Our life is the mountain of God, the journey upon which God has sent us. Each day we face new challenges, reach new heights, fall down, get back up and continue the journey.
The journey is a holy one. So, the journey is meant to bring a greater sense of connection to the Divine into our lives in order to heal that which is broken. So the answer to the first question is simple: all of humanity.
That is also the answer to the second question as well. Every place we stand on the mountain, on our journey through life, is holy. God's presence dwells everywhere, however each of us chooses to understand that. One way to understand it is simply to say that the capacity for kindness, compassion, beauty, healing and serenity exists at all times and in all places. That is what makes each place potentially holy. When we realize this underlying truth and act upon it, then the holiness becomes real.
When Moses stood at the Burning Bush, God told him to remove his shoes because "this is holy ground." As I was taught some years ago (and I cannot remember by whom) this is true everywhere. Every place where we stand in any given moment is holy ground. We simply have to realize it.
At times along the journey of life each of us doubts who we are. We may wonder if we are living up to our potential, we may be ashamed because of a perceived failure, we may fall down and feel like we will never be able to rise up and continue on. At those moments we may ask if we are truly "climbing God's mountain," or if we even deserve to attempt this. We wonder if we are really doing what we must in order to bring compassion and holiness into the world or are we simply taking up space.
However, if we realize that we are always standing on potentially holy ground and that each of us has the ability to tap into that holiness wherever we are, then we can find the strength to continue on. That doesn't mean we haven't made a choice or taken an action of which we might not be proud or that we have acted in ways that bring hatred or chaos into the world. It simply means that, in this moment, we connect with the holiness and that means we can accept those things that we have done, make amends and seek forgiveness where necessary and move on so we can truly be present in the moment.
Of course, the one we often need to make amends to and ask forgiveness of is ourselves. This is often more difficult than seeking forgiveness from others! But if we remember this connection to holiness and the divine. If we remember that, in spite of how we may feel about ourselves in any given moment, we are but human, then we can hopefully forgive ourselves and move on. After all, if God can forgive those who have acted wrongly and truly seek forgiveness, then way can't we do the same?
As we live each day moment by moment, let us remember the holiness of the journey. May we find the Divine within as we make choices in our lives. May we find the compassion within our hearts to forgive ourselves and others of past wrongs. And may we find the strength that flows through each of us, enabling us to face our challenges and to experience the Divine - and share that experience - wherever we may be.
Posted by Rabbi Steven Nathan at 1:26 AM
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