URC Daily Devotion by Jo Clare-Young 29th April

Psalm 45

1 A noble theme inspires my heart
with verses for the king;
My tongue’s a skilful writer’s pen,
composing lines to sing. 

 
2 You far excel the best of men;
your lips are full of grace,
For God has blessed you evermore;
his light shines on your face. 
 
3 O mighty one, take up your sword
and bind it on your thigh;
With glorious splendour clothe yourself
and with your majesty. 
 
4 Ride forth in state victoriously
for meekness, truth and right;
Let your right hand display your deeds
of awesome power and might. 
 
5 Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts
of those who hate the king;
And all the nations of the earth
into subjection bring. 
 
6 Your royal throne, O God,
will last throughout eternity;
Your kingdom’s sceptre will be one
of truth and equity. 
 
7 Anointing you with oil of joy,
your God has made you great,
Because you care for righteousness,
and wickedness you hate. 
 
8 With aloes, myrrh and cassia
in fragrant robes you’re clad;
From palaces of ivory
stringed music makes you glad. 
 
9 Among the women of your court
king’s daughters take their stand;
The royal bride in finest gold
appears at your right hand. 
 
10 O daughter, listen and give ear,
consider what I say;
You must forget your father’s house,
your people far away. 
 
11 Because your beauty is so great,
the king is held in thrall.
He is your lord; give him respect,
before him humbly fall. 
 
12 Inhabitants of Tyre will come
to offer gifts to you;
And wealthy people will approach
your favour to pursue. 
 
13 In glorious gold-embroidered robes
the princess waits within;
14 In richly ornamented clothes
she’s brought before the king.

Attendant maidens follow her
and so to you are led; 

15 They enter and with great delight
the palace courts they tread.

16 In places where your fathers stood
your sons will take their stand;
You’ll make them princes of the realm
to rule throughout the land. 

 
17 I will perpetuate your fame
through everlasting days;
Therefore the nations of the world
will ever sing your praise.

You can hear a Free Church of Scotland sing this, from verse 11, to the tune Stockport/Yorkshire here.

 

Reflection

A noble theme inspires the heart of the Psalmist who is not addressing God, or the people of Israel, but a King, a bridegroom… or maybe a hero?

The noble hero rides out in victory, defender of meekness, truth and right. Clothed in glorious splendour he performs deeds of awesome power and might, far excelling the best of us.

This surely is like a movie that is going to have a happy ending; what baddie could stand against a hero God has blessed, upon whose face God shines light. A hero anointed with the oil of gladness. A hero who smells of myrrh, aloes and cassia, an aroma reminiscent of those sanctified in the Temple.

This is the sort of hero who saves the day, wielding his sword of truth and equity and rescuing those in peril. The sort of hero every child wants to become. The sort of hero perhaps we who strive to walk the way should still wish to become. We, after all, are called by Christ to be people of meekness, truth and right.

Discipleship calls us to a meekness of lifestyle, trusting in, committing to, and quietly waiting for God. Meekness helps a hero to refrain from anger and defensiveness,  absorb difficulty and criticism without lashing back.

Discipleship calls us to a lifestyle of radical truth, of showing our weaknesses and struggles. A lifestyle of truth sometimes means the hero must make a stand, not just on big issues but on small day to day ones.

Discipleships call us to a lifestyle that seeks right and justice for all. A hero must fight for a world that offers justice for all people,  for fair systems that reflect God’s love. Whatever age we are, we can still grow up to be the hero. We can star in the movie, as a defender of meekness, truth and right; a hero who performs small but awesome deeds power and might as we walk the way.

 

Prayer

Lord of action,
You call us to be people
of meekness, truth and right.
You call us to live and speak
truthfully, humbly, and meekly.
You call us to seek justice in all things,
in all places and for all people.

Forgive us
when we wait for someone else
to do something,
for a hero to save the day.
Encourage us to make a start,
to make a commitment.
Let your noble theme inspire our hearts.  
Inspire us to speak out now.
Inspire us to act now.
Inspire us to seek transformation now.
Amen

Today’s Writer

Jo Clare-Young is an ordinand at Westminster College and a member of Cuxton URC.

Bible Version

 

New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Copyright © 2018 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.

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