Psalm 2 (NRSV)
1Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?
2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
3"Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us."
4He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision.
5Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6"I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill."
7I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, "You are my son; today I have begotten you.
8Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
9You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
10Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling
12kiss 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.
When I blunder and things go wrong, I often do not blame myself. Instead, I fault God and focus on God’s wrathful, earthly-king image. I assert, “Unfair punishment!” rather than seeking God’s shelter and comfort.
I needed comfort when our second daughter was not expected to survive at birth. Fortunately, our pastor, Rev. William Seibert, as well as family and friends surrounding us in prayer, did not imply that our daughter’s health crisis was God’s punishment for some unidentified sin. Instead, they revealed God’s loving refuge for me. It was far greater comfort to see God’s image of refuge amid our daughter’s struggle to live and my facing the fact that she could die. Together we sought God’s refuge through the crisis—and, together we rejoiced in God’s glorious healing power when she survived.
When we walk together through crises, what images of God do we share with each other?
God of both power and comfort, please be our refuge as we go through life’s many crises. Guide us to share images of your love as we walk with each other during frightening and painful experiences. Amen.