URC Daily Devotion 19 November 2023

Sunday, 19 November 2023
Psalm 11
In the Lord I have taken my refuge.
How can you say to my soul:
“Fly like a bird to its mountain.

See the wicked bracing their bow;
they are fixing their arrows on the string
to ambush the upright by stealth.
Foundations once destroyed, what can the just do?”

The Lord is in his holy temple,
the Lord, whose throne is in heaven.
His eyes look down on the world;
his gaze tests the people of the earth.

The Lord tests the just and the wicked;
the lover of violence he hates.
He sends fire and brimstone on the wicked;
he sends a scorching wind as their lot.

The Lord is just and loves justice;
the upright shall see his face.

It is so easy to think that in our time, the world is so much worse than before. Prices going up while companies make insanely high profits; bosses getting huge salary increases and bonuses, while everyone else gets a pay cut; politicians being openly corrupt with no consequences to themselves; the NHS being destroyed and privatised. There is no end to the news telling us that, just like in the time of King David, ‘the wicked are bracing their bow … to ambush the upright’ – and they are not even doing it by stealth any more.

So what do we do? We run.

Most of us don’t run to the mountains for safety.  We run to our mobile phones; we run to social media; we run to binge-watching films and doom-scrolling news articles.  We run to substance abuse or to whatever will make us numb to the many crises of our time.  We fill our life with business so we won’t have time to think about it.

Who benefits when we run?  Who benefits from our hiding away?  In whose interest it is to keep us scared, worried, and busy?

‘How can you say to my soul: “Fly like a bird to its mountain?”’ asks the Psalmist.

We wonder why won’t ‘somebody’ do something.  Well, you are not a nobody – you are ‘somebody’. We are ‘somebody’. God opposes wickedness – and we are God’s agents of change.  If God’s community on earth abandons its responsibility, who else is there? If you and I don’t do our part, who will?

The Lord is just and loves justice; those who have the courage to be upright, to take a stand for good – they shall see his face.

Father God,
you love justice, kindness and mercy;
and you have called us to be your agents of change in this world.
When we tend to flee away to whatever keeps us numb to pain, forgive us;
but also helps us to do better; help us to be better.
Open our eyes to the opportunities hidden in any crisis –
opportunity to stand courageously for what is good and just and right.
Change us from being scared birds flying away,
to being your warriors,
an army bringing a revolution of grace and love into our world.



Today’s writer

Marius Mazuru, pastor, Pilgrim UR Church, Plymouth


The Psalms: An Inclusive Language Version based on the Grail translation from the Hebrew
© 1963, 1986 The Grail (England) GIA Publications

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