View print-optimized version

Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, February 5, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire,
   and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
   and the rulers take counsel together,
   against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds asunder,
   and cast their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
   the Lord has them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
   and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, “You are my son;
   today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
   and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron,
   and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
   be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
   with trembling kiss his feet,
or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way;
   for his wrath is quickly kindled.

Happy are all who take refuge in him. (NRSV)

Passages like this troubled me for many, many years—still do.

Even though it’s written from the point of view of God’s favored, we don’t see that until halfway through. Instead it begins in judgment, and how many of us have come to the Bible expecting to be judged? To be the one held in derision—who have been held in derision—and then read ourselves in that. How many of us come expecting wrath? Who have experienced religion as chains tight against them, shackles to be broken? Only then to read, “Dash them in pieces from a potter’s vessel.”

We are asked to go out and share the good news, but we would do well to always think about whom we are addressing when we talk about our faith and where they might stand in relation to Christianity (especially as it’s expressed in the public sphere)—where they stand in relation to power.

What is the message we want to convey? What is the essential story you need to tell about God and yourself, God and your understanding of the world? Will the words you speak open or close another’s ears?

Almighty Lord, I have indeed found refuge in you. Guide the words of my mouth that I may share that refuge truly, that my words might open doors to new life. Amen.

Written by Anne Ellis, Program Manager for Congregational Life

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

Devotion index by date | Id like to receive daily devotions by email