URC Daily Devotion 11 February 2024


Sunday, 11 February 2024

Psalm 20

May the Lord answer in time of trial;
may the name of Jacob’s God protect you.

May he send you help from his shrine
and give you support from Zion.
May he remember all your offerings
and receive your sacrifice with favour.

May he give you your heart’s desire
and fulfil every one of your plans.
May we ring out our joy at your victory
and rejoice in the name of our God.
(May the Lord grant all your prayers.)

I am sure now that the Lord
will give victory to his anointed,
will reply from his holy heaven

with the mighty victory of his hand.

Some trust in chariots or horses,
but we in the name of the Lord.
They will collapse and fall,
but we shall hold and stand firm.

Give victory to the king, O Lord,
give answer on the day we call.

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


This lovely blessing deserves to be used more.  A prayer for protection and fulfilment bound up with praise with a sting in its tail!  It’s good poetry, liturgy and theology and useful as we ponder the year ahead.

Our political leaders are dancing with us about elections.  Early this year “leaks” that there’d be an election in May were countered by the Prime Minister’s hints that the election would be in the second half of the year.  Parties of all colours are refining their offer to the electorate and we know that, at some point in the next 11 months there has to be an election.  Of course we’re not alone with many countries having elections this year and with our eyes focused on the American contest in particular.  

Many in our nations are yearning for change and wondering if that change will be embodied well for them by the Labour Party.  Many others are wanting the security of a government they know, or once voted for.  Elections unsettle things. Change may be coming, change may bring hope or despair.  

Perhaps our Psalmist, when writing this ancient poetry was on to something with the maxim to trust in God not human protection.   It’s a theme that Pope Paul VI addressed in a letter on evangelism in 1975.  Resisting pressure to make proclamation of the Gospel just about political ideology he wrote:  all political liberation – even if it endeavours to find its justification in such or such a page of the Old or New Testament…carries within itself the germ of its own negation and fails to reach the ideal that it proposes for itself whenever its profound motives are not those of justice in charity, whenever its zeal lacks a truly spiritual dimension and whenever its final goal is not salvation and happiness in God.

Is it too much to hope that our political processes might lead to justice in charity, an understanding of spirituality and salvation and happiness in God?


O God of earth and altar,
bow down and hear our cry,
our earthly rulers falter,
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us,
the swords of scorn divide,
take not thy thunder from us,
but take away our pride.  Amen

G K Chesterton, Rejoice and Sing 346




Today’s writer

The Rev’d Andy Braunston is the URC’s Minister for Digital Worship and a member of the Peedie Kirk URC in Orkney.



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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