April 16, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 27, the prayer of one confident in God’s loving protection, no matter any surrounding threat. The psalmist exudes the equanimity of one who has given everything over to Love, who seeks only one fulfillment:
One thing I ask of the LORD;Psalm 27:4
this I seek:
To dwell in the LORD’s house
all the days of my life,
To gaze on the LORD’s beauty,
to visit his temple.
I remember praying this psalm so intently as a young novice! I so wanted to understand and deepen in the spiritual life. I so wanted to be completely in love with God.
Gamaliel, from our first reading, has grown into such a love. It has freed him to respond to the Spirit even when the Spirit astounds, contradicts, and demands change.
Gamaliel said to the Sanhedrin…“So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”Acts 5: 38-39
It seems that Gamaliel is speaking from experience. He likely had his big or little tussles with the Spirit along the now long road of his life. He has one even today as Jesus’s pesky disciples challenge Gamaliel’s long-held religious practice.
But it is likely that a prayer like Psalm 27 rose up in the heart of this longtime friend of God:
The LORD is my light and my salvation;Psalm 27: 1,5
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
For I am protected in the Lord’s shelter
when troubles threaten,
wrapped in the folds of the Lord’s tent,
set high upon the rock’s safety.
As we pray beautiful Psalm 27 today, may we remember our early, enthusiastic love. May we give thanks for the accumulated blessings of the years that have enriched and matured us in wisdom and faith. May we seek the courage to journey ever deeper into God’s heart.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORDPsalm 27: 13-14
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
Poetry: Old Age by Edmund Waller
The seas are quiet when the winds give o’er;
So calm are we when passions are no more.
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Conceal that emptiness which age descries.
The soul’s dark cottage, batter’d and decay’d,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time hath made:
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home.
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view
That stand upon the threshold of the new.
Music: Depths – Hillsong