Described as a psalm of national lament, this song expresses thanksgiving. Themes of restoration, forgiveness and hope permeate the text. Such hopeful ideas suit this season well. At the centre is a poetic encounter: steadfast love and faithfulness walk up to each other for an intentional meeting. The covenant loyalty of God’s people and their deeply held commitment to God and neighbour all come together in this verse. Righteousness and peace kiss each other. It is a gentle contact between God’s mercy and our reconciling hope. As a parent to a child or a couple’s undying love, this exchange is personal and powerful. I think it is more than the respectful greeting that a kiss often represents in some cultures. It expresses a strong bond.
It is spectacular to think of faithfulness springing up from the ground like a lively plant while righteousness looks down as warm rays of the sun. Meeting in the air and thriving in growth like sun-kissed orchards and vineyards, our interaction with the divine transforms our lives. Such is the encounter we anticipate with God who comes to us through the Saviour. Bless us, O Lord.
Show us by your love, dear Jesus, where your righteousness and peace Intersect to heal the pieces; make the yield of grace increase. Amen. — DH