10 Create in me a pure heart O God:
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me out from your presence:
do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 O give me the gladness of your help again:
and support me with a willing spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors your ways:
and sinners shall turn to you again.
14 O Lord God of my salvation, deliver me from bloodshed:
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips:
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
16 You take no pleasure in sacrifice, or I would give it:
burnt-offerings you do not want.
17 The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit:
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
A high school stage play is more polished than this service we have been rehearsing since the year one. In two thousand years, we have not worked out the kinks. We positively glorify them. Week after week, we witness the same miracle: that God is so mighty he can stifle his own laughter. Week after week we witness the same miracle: that God, for reasons unfathomable, refrains from blowing our dancing bear act to smithereens. Week after week Christ washes the disciples' dirty feet, handles their very toes, and repeats, It is all right — believe it or not — to be people.
Who can believe it? Annie Dillard: Teaching a Stone to Talk Pan Books, 1984, p 20
(and a Happy St Patrick's Day!)