Today we come to Psalm 46 which is is a firm favourite with many people and for good reason. Its opening line sets the theme of God’s reassuring strength and presence:
GOD is our hope and strength: a very present help in trouble.
It is in the context of that reassuring strength and confidence that we can face our fears and deal with what the prayer book calls ‘ all the changes and chances of this fleeting world’ and 2020 is certainly a year in which we have seen more than our fair share of those changes and chances. And so the psalm continues:
Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved: and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof rage and swell: and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same.
The rivers of the flood thereof shall make glad the city of God: the holy place of the tabernacle of the most Highest.
God is in the midst of her, therefore shall she not be removed: God shall help her, and that right early.
And then, towards the end comes the wonderful prophecy of peace, and the vision of God as peacemaker:
He maketh wars to cease in all the world: he breaketh the bow, and knappeth the spear in sunder, and burneth the chariots in the fire.
It was through Mary’s obedience that the Prince of Peace was born into this world, so I pick up the thread of the final line of my poem on psalm 45 to begin this poem, a poem for strength and encouragement written in the midst of this appalling year in which it seems, as I say in the poem, that ‘everything around us falls apart’. Everything except our loving God.
As usual you can hear me read the poem by pressing the ‘play’ button if it appears, or else by clicking on the title. For the other poems in my psalm series type the word ‘psalm’ into the search box on the right.
Through her our saviour came, Love’s revelation,
For God was in the midst of her, and now
We too are called, in every generation
To find in him our hope and strength, though
Everything around us falls apart,
And all our towering schemes have been laid low
Now is the time to take his truth to heart
And to be glad within the holy place
That he himself has made in us. To start
Each day with him, abiding in his grace
As he abides with us. To know his peace
To turn towards his light and seek his face
And let his flowing spirit find release
And flow through us into his weary world
That wrongs may be redressed and wars may cease.
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