The Lord Is My Light and Salvation

Meditation on Psalm 27 For Windsorwood Worship Service

March 17, 2019

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. 
5 For he will hide me in his shelter
   in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
   he will set me high on a rock. 
6 Now my head is lifted up
   above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
   sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
   be gracious to me and answer me! 
8 ‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face!’
   Your face, Lord, do I seek. 
9   Do not hide your face from me. 

Do not turn your servant away in anger,
   you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
   O God of my salvation! 
10 If my father and mother forsake me,
   the Lord will take me up. 
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
   and lead me on a level path
   because of my enemies. 
12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
   for false witnesses have risen against me,
   and they are breathing out violence. 
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!

whom-shall-i-fear-sheri-mcleroy

I am a worrier. On this second Sunday in Lent, a time of self-reflection and drawing nearer to the Lord, I admit that I have trouble letting go of my worries and giving them to the Lord. What do I worry about? I am too embarrassed to confess all—but at the top of my list is my family. And this past week, my mother had major surgery and my dad, who has Parkinson’s and heart problems, was recovering in rehab after a fall.  And my parents live in Florida, so I was not able to be with them through their time of trouble.

So I worried.

In times of worry, I often turn to the Psalms for comfort. Although God’s people composed and sang these collections of songs and poems long ago, they are as relevant and meaningful to us today. The psalmists were worriers, too—and they turned their worries into prayers and songs of praise to the Lord.

In Psalm 27, the psalmist begins by proclaiming, “God is my light and salvation—whom shall I fear?” But in proclaiming, “Whom shall I fear?” the psalmist is admitting that they are afraid and with good reason. For the psalmist is at war, with enemies camped around him, “breathing violence.”

The psalmist is doing what all God’s children should do when they are anxious and afraid—offering thanks and praise to the Lord. “Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy!” But the psalmist, who is confident one moment that the Lord is his stronghold, his refuge, shelter and hiding place, is still afraid that God will be angry with him—that he will disappoint the Lord and God will turn away from him.

And this is our walk of faith—moments and days of doubt and fear, but also moments and days of certainty, joy, and peace, trusting in the Lord who is our light—our guide, our hope for all of eternity.  This is us learning how to live as God wants us to live; this is us learning how to be the people of faith God has called us to be.

The Lord is with us now in our storms and fears and tears. This is the God who understands us better than we understand ourselves and will hear us and answer us when we cry out in prayer.

My mom came through her surgery OK, though her recovery will take about 2 months. And though my dad had another fall this week, we can give God thanks that no bones were broken and he was found immediately. And now we are waiting on the Lord to show us if my dad needs a different living situation—more nursing care to help him each day.

Friends, the Lord is our light and our salvation, our hiding place.  God will reveal his goodness in this land—the land of the living–if  we ask God to give us eyes to see his goodness. And if we wait and hope and trust in him…..

Let us pray.

Dear Lord, you are our light and salvation! We love you, we trust you and place our hope in you. Forgive us for our doubts and fears. Teach us your way, for we have much to learn. Guide our footsteps as we continue to walk with you in this journey of faith. In Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.

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