Midweek Meditation – April 1st

During Lent, our practice at Augustana is to gather midweek for a meal and brief worship. We can’t meet face-to-face, but we can share and encourage one another electronically. Check in midweek each Wednesday as people share their favorite scripture passages and why they speak to them in this uncertain time.

A Lenten Meditation from Robin Mitchell on Psalm 46

I don’t have one favorite Bible passage. As a lifelong student of the Bible and a chaplain, there are many passages that resonate with me. One in particular, that fits both lent and our present circumstances, is Psalm 46.

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

While the whole psalm reminds us that we humans are never in control, the first part of verse 10 speaks volumes to me.

Be still and know that I am God!”

With all that is going on around us at this time, the uncertainty of our health, our livelihoods and our futures, God says, “Be still.” The God we worship and praise, the God we pray to in need and in thanksgiving, the God we trust with our salvation says, “Be still.”

We have been witnessing panic and frenzy these past few weeks. Many store shelves are empty and the news show us frightened people, who are hoarding supplies, guns and ammunition and being violent if they feel threatened. In the midst of this turmoil, let us be models to all around us. Let us listen to God’s words and be still, knowing that God is our refuge and strength. Let us not be afraid.

Yes, things beyond our control are happening. We are cut off from friends and family, jobs, school and forms of entertainment, but not from our God, a very present help in trouble. As we walk through our Lenten journey, in enforced isolation, let us remember that God walks with us all the way.

The song that comes to my mind is Have No Fear Little Flock on page 764 in the ELW:

Have no fear, little flock; have no fear, little flock, for the Father has chosen to give you the kingdom; have no fear little flock!

Have good cheer, little flock; have good cheer, little flock, for the Father will keep you in his love forever; have good cheer, little flock!

Praise the Lord high above; praise the Lord high above, for he stoops down to heal you, uplift and restore you; praise the Lord high above!

Thankful hearts raise to God; thankful hearts raise to God, for he stays close beside you, in all things works with you; thankful hearts raise to God!

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