Once again, Michael, Rafael, Gabriel and I gather to party. I continue amazed and grateful that my parents (unknowingly) chose to give me birth on September 29. Although Quakers (along with my parents) don’t follow the liturgical calendar, ever since I discovered that September 29 is the feast-day of the archangels, I’ve latched onto it with a fierce joy. And we do celebrate!
Yesterday in unprogrammed worship, Psalm 103 was our gathering word. The Psalmist begins and ends this ancient hymn with the words, “Praise the Lord, O my soul!” This is the person in her most intimate being gazing with love and adoration at her Creator and God. As I sat in the silence with my sisters and brothers, I did just that. I gazed and adored.
And as my meditation in the psalm continued, I saw it open up from the personal and expand to include all the heavenly host and all of God’s created universe: “Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion.” And from there, in the same verse, the psalmist zooms back in to the individual person who joins the archangels and the universe to proclaim, “Praise the Lord, O my soul.”
So it’s not arrogance or exaggeration to see myself celebrating this day with the archangels. It’s gospel truth. Gospel. That’s good news.
Praise the Lord and Happy Birthday to me, O my soul.