This phrase, one of my favorites in the Bible from Psalm 85, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” is from our Psalter and is the basis for the illustration by William Blake that will be on the cover of the bulletin this coming Sunday. I’m straying from the lectionary to find texts more supportive of the Ephesians lectionary passage which is the fundamental text for my sermon, “Imitators of Truth,” so we will be hearing from Psalm 85 and from Matthew 15: 10-20 (it is not what goes into your mouth that defiles, but what comes out of it). These texts will focus a sermon topic on how speaking with respect and love and truthfulness with one another is a key component of discipleship. The image, which personifies “righteousness” and “peace” embracing at the feet of God the Father, illustrates well the harmony that arises when we “speak the truth in love.” If we are faithful to that mandate given to us by the author of Ephesians, righteousness and peace do indeed share a tender kiss.
You might be acquainted with Blake’s illustrations for Dante’s Inferno, but he also produced many fascinating interpretations of scenes from the Bible.