Saturday, May 2, 2009

Psalm 133

Psalm 133
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the LORD commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore. (Psalm 133)

The Jarda-warnpa ceremony of the Warlpiri people is an Atonement and Reconciliation ceremony. There are many aspects of the ceremony that echo the elements of the Day of Atonement ceremony as described in Leviticus 23:26-32. A part of the songline leading up to the Jarda-warnpa ceremony describes how a wallaby is travelling from the south of Warlpiri country to the north. Along the way the wallaby is met by an emu, and then the two continue together. As they travel, they hunt together, perform ceremony together, and generally look after and care for each other. As these two animals continue in "unity" rain falls on the country side, and follows their journey north. This rain transforms the desert into lush, fertile hunting grounds.

Here, in this Warlpiri story, is an allusion to Psalm 133. Unity (jintangka in Warlpiri), evokes the blessing of God (represented in the falling fain, which God says is an aspect of His blessing, and the withholding of is an aspect of His chastening - Deuteronomy 28:12, 24).

Many of the stories, in the Warlpiri songlines, illustrate and allude to Biblical Christian truth.

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