Sunday 29th August
Be gracious to me, Lord,
and hold my spirit fast,
that I may shelter by your side
until the storm is past.
2 Though snares are set for me,
yet will I sleep in peace,
for I have asked the care of God
whose love shall never cease.
3 My soul, awake and sing,
such boundless love recall;
exalt God’s name above the skies,
God’s glory over all!
After Psalm 57, Michael Perry (1942 – 1996)
© Mrs B Perry/Jubilate Hymns
You can hear the tune suggested for this, Idumea here
At the end of April I spoke at “Streams in the Wilderness” organised by URC:Spirituality. This event looked at finding spiritual nourishment during times of difficulty and I particularly considered these difficult times from a young person’s point of view. It is fair to say that the past 18 months has been a whirlwind for many when it comes to faith and spirituality. One of the things that I briefly touched on was turning to God during these times of wilderness. This is exactly David’s attitude in Psalm 57 paraphrased for us by Michael Perry’s hymn. David turned to God as the very first thing he did.
It can be very difficult to turn to God during times of anxiety and wilderness, particularly in times of panic. However, today’s words can be a useful reminder about the good that can come from turning to God. For David, he fled from Saul’s murderous jealousy. Even though David’s life was literally on the line, he still knew he would be able to turn to God who would protect him, be able to “shelter by God’s side” and “sleep in peace” (which as a young person I would appreciate!). Our anxieties may not be as extreme as someone wanting to kill us but God will still be able to take those burdens from us and shelter us. This is often so easy to forget!
So, as we begin this week, as we re-start the school term, take time out during times of worry, speak to God who will be able to help for “God’s glory over all”
as we begin a new school year,
as we begin a new week,
as we have the worries and our own wildernesses,
be with us,
and shelter us by your side,
in Jesus name we pray,