Christmas songs blaring in the stores. Somehow, "Let it Snow" sets off all my puny rage and I spend the day in a funk over the ills in the world. Everything--from Soviet Russia to Health and Human Services to dirty socks under the couch--brings me to tears.
And then, the psalms step in. Perhaps the greatest poetry of all time, the psalms take all the darkness, name it, and give it over to light.
From today's Office of Readings, here is Psalm 37.
Do not fret because of the wicked;
do not envy those who do evil:
for they wither quickly like grass
and fade like the green of the fields.
If you trust in the Lord and do good,
then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord,
he will grant your heart’s desire.
Commit your life to the Lord,
trust in him and he will act,
so that your justice breaks forth like the light,
your cause like the noon-day sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait in patience;
do not fret at the man who prospers;
a man who makes evil plots
to bring down the needy and the poor.
Calm your anger and forget your rage;
do not fret, it only leads to evil.
For those who do evil shall perish;
the patient shall inherit the land.
A little longer–and the wicked shall have gone.
Look at his place, he is not there.
But the humble shall own the land
and enjoy the fullness of peace.