When reading the Psalms, it is easy for us to take the place of the the psalmist, the one who laments, who praises, who calls to God in thanks, shouts to God for protection. Let us continue to live into that perspective, to seek the guidance and protection of the one who watches over us.
Let us also be mindful of those whom the psalmist calls wicked, those who speak arrogantly, those who would cast others to the ground. Let us be self aware enough to know when we have fallen into those categories, and strive to live into lives of love and support for one another.
Hear now the words of the Psalm, wherever you are at in your day or on your journey of faith.
Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me.
They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly. They track me down; now they surround me; they set their eyes to cast me to the ground.
They are like a lion eager to tear, like a young lion lurking in ambush.
Sheltering God, you do much as you seek to protect your children, and yet so often we run from the shadow of your wing headlong into danger. Guide our steps and speak to us that we might be led back to the care of your embrace. Inspire and empower us to bring your love and protection to those who need it most, those on the margins, often forgotten by society. Help us to be the hand that helps them up and not the boot that pushes them down.
Help us, O Guiding Spirit, to speak boldly of your love, but not arrogantly; to share completely our story of faith without imposing our will. Open our ears to hear the stories of those we meet, to share in faith together, to grow in love together.
Reconciling God, for those times where we have failed to share your love, or have acted in opposition to that love, we seek forgiveness. Support us in mending those relationships that we have damaged or broken with our failure to love all within creation as you do: unconditionally.
We offer this and all our prayers in the name of Christ, who walks behind us, beside us, and before us. AMEN