I love you, O Lord my strength, O Lord my stronghold, my crag, and my haven.
The language of discord and conflict pervades our current social landscape, and the readings for today seem to echo these themes. All of the subjects — the Psalmist, Jeremiah and Jesus — are set in scenes filled with danger and opposition. The dangerous opposition is from within their societies, from their compatriots. Their brothers and sisters are wrong-headed and seemingly incapable of understanding the error of their thinking, and what’s more, are incensed in their ignorance of the truth to the point of violence. The parallels seem all too familiar.
What do we make of these ominous narratives in our own time? Like the Psalmist, on most days would we like to escape our current reality for a crag, a remote outcrop of rock high in the mountains? For me, it has a certain cinematic appeal, like some remote Tolkien-esque hermitage.
Of course, escape is not an option for us. We are agents of transformation wherever we find ourselves, through the love of God in Jesus Christ. We must hear God’s call and respond to it daily, whether times seem lighter or darker. We must be the strength to pick someone up we see falling, we must be a haven for those in need of respite, and we must be a stronghold for those in need of protection.
Let us keep the faith in love.