Good morning all! You made it to Friday!
Today’s scripture: Psalm 27:1-4, 13-14 (NRSV)
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers assail me
to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
they shall stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
yet I will be confident.
4 One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple.
13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
This is definitely one of my favorite Psalms. There are pieces of scripture, I don’t know about you, that just stick with me. So often it means that they have come through music at some point in my life. There are parts of this Psalm (mainly the parts that I have pulled out this morning) that run through my head every once in a while. What I love about this piece of poetry, this song, is that these words are so strong for when life seems pretty chaotic and hard things need to be done.
We live in a world that is fear based. The news is full of it. Facebook seems to revamp it and it pops up in our feeds. Consumerism is based on it and we as humans sometimes thrive on it. It fuels us at times or it keeps us from action.
BUT the psalmist (credited to David again) chides us to not live in it anymore….why? Because God is around us and that gives us courage even when we have to wait.
I went to visit someone the other day in the hospital. The office had gotten a call that this person’s cancer has spread and she is nearing the end of life here on earth. I hustled over to the hospital. This is someone who I have visited with and thoroughly enjoy our visits. She is full of life and story….my favorite people to hang out with. I walked into the room to a big smile (not what I was expecting from the reports). She was surrounded by some family members who quickly opened a spot next to her for me. I got the report that she was actually doing better and it isn’t as dire as we thought yet but yes her cancer is out of control and end of life is coming. But she smiled at me and told me that her order for her memorial is in my office and what was going to happen next and….
I stopped her. “But my friend, what are you feeling? Aren’t you scared of all of this?”
She paused. Turned and looked at me directly in the eye. Gave a HUGE smile and said, “My dear, why would I be afraid of death? I am going to see God and I know it will all be ok. This is what its about. I am not afraid.”
The rest of our visit was full of story and laughter and a hug at the end. I told her I wanted at least two more visits in the next months. And I am sure it will happen.
There was so much peace and calm and joy in that room…not always what you find in a hospital room and I have been in a lot of them in my ten years of appointed ministry so far. I walked out of that room so at peace and full of joy as well. What courage! But that’s it, right? When we are full of courage and heart there is no room for fear and it exudes from us and spreads. What a gift I have received from this woman who is so confident and not afraid of death. It is part of how we live with God.
May this Psalm be full for you today. I am also attaching a song based on this Psalm that often gets stuck in my head. 🙂