Friday, September 2, 2011

Be Strong, Take Heart

In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!
For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

Blessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.
I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.
Love the Lord, all you his saints!
The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
Psalm 31:1-5, 20-24

The beach is glorious this time of year, after the heat of the summer has dissipated and the water is cam and cool. The tourists are streaming in for one ast summer weekend. Those of us who live here know the best is yet to come. When the noise and crowding has gone away, and cooler heads prevail, life slows down again some and we can breathe deeply, having our sanctuary to ourselves. Sometimes it feels as if we live in a besieged city, cut off from tender care as anxious people compete to spent money and time, in a frenzy to get the most out of a vacation. So we wait and breathe, praying for the return of calm and quiet, when the anxiety goes back home and settles in down the road.

Our Gospel reading is all about crucifixion and brighter more sensitive souls have said all that one can about the suffering and the dying of Christ. Living in the long besieged city, through times of unemployment, illness and isolation, well these are the times when the psalms get us through, where we turn to the music, the songs David sang to get through the onslaught and the chaos. Sometimes there is something we can say or do, and sometimes we just have to keep praying, singing and waiting it out.

In the midst of personal, familial and health challenges, I hear God inviting us all to rest in the psalms to take heart in the ancient music and trust that we will see these times through.

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