This psalm has been described as a psalm of entrance into the temple. Perhaps a priest greeted those who had come to worship in God's holy tent, the temple on God's holy hill Zion, with this question: Who may dwell on your holy hill? The answer: "those who walk blamelessly." Say what? Blamelessly? That's more than a tall order; it's impossible.
It's almost as if the prophet Micah of yesterday's reading was standing at the temple door asking the question. Who can enter? The answer: You know what God desires: those who do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
Surprisingly, entering into God's presence does not require a perfect sacrifice or offering; it doesn't require a perfect singing voice or even a love for liturgy. It turns out that true worship is deeply connected to life, the life we live outside the sanctuary where it matters that we speak the truth, stick up for our neighbor rather than slander her or him, and both lend and borrow money honestly and with the heart of a steward. Those who worship God are called to be immersed in God's mercy each day and at all times. Come in, dwell a while, and then go in peace to serve the Lord--by loving your neighbor as yourself.
Lord, we do not deserve your invitation to come and worship. Forgive us for what we have done and left undone. In your abundant mercy give us the strength to live honest truth-filled lives that continually seek what is best for our neighbors. Amen.
Psalm 15 (NRSV)
1 O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?
2 Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart;
3 who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
4 in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the Lord; who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
5 who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent. Those who do these things shall never be moved.