Psalm 25:10 – 5/28/17
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
For those who keep his covenant and his decrees.”
(Psalm 25:10, NRSV)
This is going to be quick and dirty….. Or at least quick. 🙂 My immediate thought upon reading this verse was, if “all the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,” does that mean that all paths of steadfast love and faithfulness are of the Lord??…. If someone keeps God’s covenant and God’s decrees (which, in my opinion, “looks like” loving God, knowing oneself to be loved by God, and loving one’s “neighbors”…), is that person on “the [or at least, a] path of the Lord” regardless of what religion, if any, that person claims?
In other words, can a person who claims affiliation with a non-Judeo-Christian religious tradition, or who doesn’t claim affiliation with any religious tradition, live in such a way that he or she is, indeed, walking on “the path of the Lord” (at least from the perspective of those of us within the Judeo-Christian tradition)?
I think so.
At the risk of being controversial, I do not believe that Jesus had, or has, the absolute corner on the market for the “correct way” of living a God-oriented life. I do believe that for me, born when and where I was, into the family and culture I was, he was–and remains–the most accessible and clearest example of what it means, what it looks like, to live life fully and consistently and selflessly oriented to God, to Love. And I believe that there are profound and timeless and transformative truths about how to live that kind of life, available to anyone, of any background, age, culture, religion, etc., should they choose to seek them and be open to them, through becoming seriously acquainted with the person and life of Jesus.
I do not, however, believe that it is only through the Judeo-Christian path that we can learn to live lives of steadfast love and faithfulness. Nor do I believe that all who claim to be a part of that tradition are, in fact, living lives of steadfast love and faithfulness (although it really is not my place to make that determination!).
I am not of the opinion that what the world needs is more Christians, per se. I am of the opinion that what the world needs is more persons, in all religious traditions, in all cultures, in all countries and communities and families, who live lives of steadfast love and faithfulness, knowing themselves to be loved and forgiven, and striving, then, to love and forgive their fellow companions on this journey.
“All paths of steadfast love and faithfulness are of the Lord,
God, help us all to keep your covenants and decrees…”
–a very liberal paraphrasing of Psalm 25:10 (DCW version! 🙂 )