Boasting in the Lord is, on the one hand, quite the opposite of boasting in one’s self. Instead of drawing attention to ourselves, we draw attention to Christ. This boasting is a call for people to admire him as much as we admire him. We are seeking praise—for Christ’s worth.
Love, then, is lavishing yourself upon someone who is unworthy and unattractive.
Here I am, remembering my slavery as a confession for you. It is uncomfortable to admit. It is an act of vulnerability. In my social justice circles, it looks dirty and embarrassing and unintelligent. But if I truly care about justice, freedom, and loving my neighbor, I must start with myself. I must remember. Will you consider doing the same?
The beauty of this psalm is the promise we find within it, once we no longer see the psalmist’s words as a list of boxes to check and gold stars to earn.
I can only begin to understand the depth of the joy that Zechariah foretold of the incarnate Word entering our world “to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
Prayer is an incubator that provides the spiritual conditions to grow religious passion. Furthermore, prayer reminds us that the Divine presence is near even when our circumstances suggest God is far away.