God, who gets invited to dinner at your place? How do we get on your guest list?
"Walk straight, act right, tell the truth.
"Don't hurt your friend, don't blame your neighbor; despise the despicable.
"Keep your word even when it costs you, make an honest living, never take a bribe.
"You'll never get blacklisted if you live like this."
-Psalm 15 (The Message)
Regarding the shape of poetry, Robert Frost once wrote, "It begins in delight and ends in wisdom."
So too, this Psalm.
Once the reality of God is accepted, there is a desire to know how one can come to know this God, to dwell in his presence. How do we get "invited to dinner?" How do we join the feast?
The Psalmist offers simple words, words about friendship, neighborliness, justice, and honesty. They are words that delight us, because who among us does not wish for everyone else around us to live like this? But in the same vein, it could be said, those words simultaneously terrify us. We ask ourselves, "How am I to live like that?"
The Scriptures, read as whole, answer that question. "You can't," they say, "but, in communion with God, you can." That is wisdom.
The fellowship we experience with God through Jesus Christ brings about the assurance that we have been invited to dinner. We're on the guest list. By grace, through faith, we're in.
And because we are in, then the fruits of our life should reveal that we have been redeemed. Our friendships, our actions as neighbor, our commitment to justice and honesty, should all show up. We have not been invited because we are virtuous, we are virtuous because we have been invited.
The invitation has come. Now live as a guest.
God Almighty, help me today to pray the prayer of the psalmist. May I commit this short passage to memory. May I know that I am invited to your banquet, and you have bestowed upon me the grace to live as your guest. Today I commit myself to honesty, to justice, to neighborliness, to integrity, and to friendship. Today I commit myself to you. Amen.