URC Daily Devotion 1st August 2021

Sunday 1st August

Psalm 53

Hear the fool saying loud and long,
there’s no God, we’re all alone.
Poison words that pollute the air,
spreading everywhere.

All have sinned,
all have turned aside
and there’s no one righteous.
But redemption
will one day come from Zion,
so rejoice!

God looks down from His throne on high
searching off a heart that’s wise,
Anyone who will seek His face,
leave their wicked ways.

Evil ones who attack the poor steal
their bread then rage for more;
But the Lord will defend His own.
Everyone will know.

Bev Herrema © 2011 Pilot Point Music
You can hear some of the Psalm here
https://hymnary.org/media/fetch/152019

Reflection
This is a difficult psalm.  I am grateful to Bev Herrema for her song version, and grateful to our editor for selecting it.  Bev has condensed and sharpened the Psalm’s message.  It certainly has a 21st Century ring to it now.
But problems remain.  The main one for me is the idea that those who say there is no God are fools (verse 1).  Many people who say there is no God are far from fools!  Not only are they often very clever people, but they cannot be straightforwardly aligned with the set of people who greedily take more than their share of the earth’s resources at the huge expense of others (verse 3). 

I am helped by a children’s story. 

Two of my grandchildren are continuing with home school.  As part of this, I read to them on Zoom (what would we do without it!)  Our book for the first half of the summer term was ‘Heidi’.  I read the original version.  The children also had an abridged version from the library. The original has a lot explicitly about God.  The prodigal son story is Heidi’s favourite, and is lived out by her grandfather.  She is taught about God’s faithfulness and the need for persistent trusting prayer through her life events interpreted to her by Grandmamma.  All this is totally absent from the library version.  A child could read it, enjoy it, be helped maybe by the way it resolves Heidi’s sadness.  But that child would have no opportunity to think about God in relation to Heidi’s life, and their own.  God has been airbrushed out of the story.  That, for me, is one example of the milieu in which we live.  It is why verse 1 of this Psalm is relevant to our day and a serious challenge. 

Prayer

Lord, thank you for my mustard seed of faith.  A gift.
Amen.

Today’s writer

The Rev’d Dr Gwen Collins, retired minister, member of Avenue St Andrews URC

 

 

Copyright

 

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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