[Ps. 18:1-7, 46]Today is one of those times when I think the “Good News” is better expressed in the Gradual Psalm than in the Gospel Lesson. For example I think that “Good News” can be found in thewords of the refrain to our Gradual:
“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.”
Our Gradual Psalm today is just a small portion of the much longer Psalm 18. It was written against the background of a culture in which wars and battles were a common occurrence.
Victories over current enemies were sought for, prayed for, and rejoiced over.
As we read newspapers today, or listen to the News on Television we can see how much the same things are still happening in the Eastern Mediterranean, in modern dress and with modern technology—and they also happen in other parts of our world.
In Psalm 18 we see God as the source of strength, as a stronghold, a haven and refuge, as salvation. The words used throughout this Psalm show a wide range of feelings.
Hope expressed that God will hear the prayer. Fear, anguish and distress can be felt. Finally with thanksgiving there is assurance that God has heard; refuge has been found.
This is the Good News! We can hear it in this Psalm.
I love you, O Lord my strength, O Lord my stronghold, my crag, and my haven.” (v.1) …..
“The Lord lives! Blessed is my Rock! Exalted is the God of my salvation! (v.46)
Reading over this Psalm, and others similar to it, we can see why Fr. Benson, the Founder of SSJE, called his two volume commentary on the Psalms, The War Songs of the Prince of Peace.
In our own daily lives there are times when we face minor crises. Sometimes because of the importunity of such occurrences they may seem magnified into major problems or troubles.
Do the words of this Psalm help you see the Good News and find it in your own prayers?
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