The psalmist’s life has been anything but a bed of roses. He has been beset by trouble, ravaged by war, pursued by enemies, and victimized by violence and false testimony. Even as the psalmist affirms that God has upheld him through times of trouble and has protected him from that which has sought to destroy him, he pleads with God not to hide from him. Though he claims to be confident and unafraid, he begs God not to forsake him, not to turn him away. In one breath the psalmist eloquently affirms his faith; in the next he confesses his uncertainty that God will be with him in the future.

Fear and hope, faith and doubt, belief and lament, light and darkness live side by side in all of us. Our experiences and emotions waver wildly. Our prayers sound like the psalmist’s. In one moment we confidently confess, “The Lord is my light and salvation.” In the next, we cry out from a place of forsakenness for God to answer us. In one moment we sing and shout for joy. In the next, we plead with God not to hide from us.

Have you ever wished you could erase all doubt and fear from your life? Have you had a mountaintop experience and then found yourself wandering in a wilderness? Have you ever wanted to cast away the shadows from your life only to discover that they linger and follow you? Have you ever wondered what you really believe? If so, Psalm 27 can be your prayer.

After pouring out his faith and doubt, fear and courage, the psalmist concludes, “Wait for the Lord.” We cannot and need not run from the shadows of our lives. Light and darkness exist side by side within each of us, and God is in it all.

God, help me to wait upon you whether in the light or in the shadows. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 13:31-35

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Lectionary Week
March 11–17, 2019
Scripture Overview

This week’s readings give witness to the ways of God and provide confidence and hope in our faith. In Genesis we read of God’s promise to Abram, a promise that seems very unlikely to a man with no children. But God seals the covenant, and the story later shows that God never breaks God’s promises. The psalmist even while mired in conflict praises God for being his light, his salvation, his stronghold. The psalmist longs to be in God’s presence forever, a desire that can inspire all of us as believers. Paul says that in the future reality, we will no longer experience resistance from those who oppose God. One day Christ will fully transform us to our citizenship in heaven. Jesus himself experienced resistance even in Jerusalem, yet he ultimately triumphs, as will all those who trust in God.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18. How can you take a step forward in the dark toward God’s seemingly impossible promises for the future?
Read Psalm 27. Recall a time when you waited in the shadows of your life. What did you learn about God’s provision during this time?
Read Philippians 3:17–4:1. How do you live in the paradox of standing firm in faith by being vulnerable?
Read Luke 13:31-35. When have you been unwilling to accept love? How can you comprehend the depth and yearning of God’s love for you?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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