Thursday 28th May
I feel a theme coming on as I am going to pick another Psalm to aid us in our reflections. The psalmist often has a way of capturing the moment and psalm 121 is one that I often return to.
‘I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.’
The psalmist understood only too well that wellbeing started and ended with God. In an uncertain world it is easy to put our faith and trust in people or things rather than God. Our world has so many distractions in normal circumstances that mean we focus our trust and belief in other things. When a crisis like the Coronavirus comes those things fall away and we are left with our own four walls and we realise so much of what we rely on is hollow. Much of our sense of self worth can be tied up in what we do rather than who we are! Our wellbeing and self worth need to be seen not in terms of status or role but in light of our relationship with God. I suspect that is why this psalm is often associated with funerals in our liturgies because we are stopped in our tracks and called to examine ourselves.
There is a story in the Old Testament which I have alluded to before and it concerns Elisha the prophet. He and his servant are trapped in a besieged city and the servant is fearful for his life and can see no solution. In fact his faith is based on his view of oncoming doom caused by the circumstances. Elisha quickly prays and the spiritual reality of the situation is revealed as with Psalm 121 he has his life rooted in the spiritual reality that God is with them.
‘When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.’
In the present crisis we need to ask God to constantly draw us back to putting our faith and trust on him. As we pray let us ask God to reveal himself to those who feel alone and hemmed in by the present circumstances. We pray for those who are lonely, isolated and physically separated from love ones.
Lord, our heavenly Father,
almighty and everlasting God,
we thank you for bringing us safely to this day.
Keep us by your mighty power, and grant
that we fall into no sin,
neither run into any kind of danger;
but lead and govern us in all things,
that we may always do what is righteous
in your sight, through
Jesus Christ our Lord.