Psalm 15 (NRSV)
Verse 1O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?
Verse 2Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart;
Verse 3who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
Verse 4in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the Lord; who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
Verse 5who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent. Those who do these things shall never be moved.
I recently received promotional emails for a sale on camping and outdoor gear. So when I read the psalmist's question, "O Lord, who may abide in your tent?" I thought half-jokingly, "Someone who doesn't snore?" Kidding aside, does the psalmist ask this question in order to allow only the "right" people into the worship community? For that matter, why don't we just skip ahead to something comforting and familiar, like Psalm 23?
The psalmist, rather, asks what is expected of leaders entering the holy sanctuary — once the tent of meeting, later the temple on the holy hill of Jerusalem — where humans encountered the divine. By extension, the psalmist is asking what kind of person God wants us to be in our relationship with God.
The answer is similar to yesterday's message from Micah. God expects us to do the right thing — to be truthful, respect and protect the neighbor, love God, make good on our promises, and recognize those who do the same.
Lord, give us the strength and courage to be the type of person you created each of us to be. Give us patience and love for ourselves and others when we don't live as you intend. Amen.