The psalm we are reflecting on today is a lament. It is a psalm that, despite the praise and trust found in the familiar 23rd psalm, shows us that the people of the time still felt overwhelmed, surrounded, and lost.
We might not be able to relate so closely with a people who are besieged, or in exile, or in the grips of warring strife, but we can relate with people who feel alone, lost, and overwhelmed. What we see in this psalm is that even in those moments of despair, the people had such deep and abiding trust for their God, that they called out to God seeking protection in and guidance through the strife.
As a very individualistic society, many of us aren’t very good at asking for help, preferring to get through problems on our own strength and merit. But we weren’t built to be islands. We were made to be united with one another and with God, a supportive net of mutual care and trust.
Let us pray for a flourishing of that care and a deepening of that trust.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
We lift our very selves to you, O Holy One, for it is in you that we trust and find our life’s breath. Move in and through our lives and draw us closer to one another, closer to you. In moments of darkness, shine through us that we might be a beacon for each other. In times when we feel lost, call to us and guide us again to to paths that are familiar because they lead to you. And when we feel alone, embrace us and draw to together as we care for and are cared for by our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Most of all, help us to open ourselves to each other, to be humber. Enable us to be vulnerable, to seek support, to know that what we build together is stronger.
Help us, O Lord, we pray. AMEN