Today we are presented with a seeming paradox. The final Psalm of today's reading (67/68), is chanted during the Paschal Orthros service. One cannot help but be moved by the beauty of the hymn, which proclaims "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered; and let them who hate Him flee from before His face. As smoke vanishes so let them vanish away, as wax melts before the fire so do sinners perish from before the face of God; and the righteous rejoice."
Yet just one Psalm prior to this, (66/67) the Psalmist cries out to God asking that God would shine His face upon all peoples, that his saving power would be known among all nations, that all the ends of the earth would fear Him. Do these two Psalms contradict one another? Orthodox tradition, and Scripture itself, would suggest that they do not. Instead these two Psalms, especially because they are found right next to each other, serve as a reminder that every piece of Scripture and Tradition must be read in light of the entirety of Scripture and Tradition.
We cannot joyously chant "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered," without remembering that "God desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (I Timothy 2:4) Furthermore, we must never forget that we had made ourselves enemies of God through our own sinfulness and that it was not our own special merit that brought us into a restored relationship with God, but His own act of reconciliation which saved us. (Romans 5:7-10, Ephesians 2:8-9).
In light of this as we prepare to chant the triumphal Paschal verses, let us do so while ever remembering Christ's command to us: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)