Psalm 31:19-24

O how abundant is your goodness that you have laid up for those who fear you, and accomplished for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of everyone! In the shelter of your presence you hide them from human plots; you hold them safe under your shelter from contentious tongues.

Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was beset as a city under siege. I had said in my alarm, “I am driven far from your sight.” But you heard my supplications when I cried out to you for help.

Love the Lord, all you his saints. The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord. Psalm 31:19-24

Lorne Ahrens, Philando Castile, Brad Garafola, Matthew Gerald, Montrell Jackson, Michael Johnson, Michael Krol, Gavin Long, Michael Smith, Alton Sterling, Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa.

These are the names. These men, their families, their friends, their communities – these are the ones that I have encouraged us to pray for each day this week.

These are the names of those who have suffered, or caused, a sense we share that we are a city under siege. In this list are police officers who were doing their duty with professionalism and courage, men denied their day in court by their own actions or the actions of others, and men who projected their hate and vitriol through the guns and bullets that took the lives of the innocent.

Among these names we can see the latest ones to bear family names in long lines reaching back to the various places from which their forebears came, all with a dream to make a new life in the United States. Among these names we can see the latest ones to bear the name of a long forgotten slave holder who stamped their forebears with his sign of ownership after they endured the death of their dreams in being forced to a land they knew nothing about.

All of these are the names of our brothers. All of these are the names of God’s children, God’s creation, God’s beloved.

“Love the Lord, all you his saints” the Psalmist encourages us. Later Jesus would flesh out the full meaning of that phrase when he tied it to loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Everyone is born in love. No one is born in hate. We have to be taught to hate. No one is born with a sense of their own identity. That sense is shaped by the family and the culture into which they are born. To LEARN the love of God and love of neighbor, and then to LIVE the love of God and love of neighbor, is God’s will for us and it is the hope of the world.

One way we learn such love is to pray. To pray for our loved ones. To pray for our enemies. To pray for our communities and those given responsibility to lead, to serve, and to protect. To pray for the broken, the grieving, the now-powerful, and the now-powerless. To pray thy will be done, thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, may the names of these our brothers be added to those that would teach us that your ways are the ways to life at its best and life everlasting. We claim the promises of our faith for them, for their families, and for our communities. Give us strength, give us courage, give us compassion, and give us hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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4 Responses to “Psalm 31:19-24”

  1. Brian_Taylor@oxy.com Says:

    Pastor Kerry, Thanks very much for your devotional a this week. Today’s devotional is very thought provoking. I’ve read it three times and I’m enlightened each time I read it.

    Thank You,

    Brian

    Brian Taylor

  2. Carolee Says:

    This was an inspiring devotion. Amen Amen – yes, yes it shall be so!

  3. Margery Says:

    Deletei o comentário de um petralha imbecil que disse que o campo da Vox Populi encerrou ontem. Que está escrito lá no TSE. Não encerrou e não existe nada que obrigue que as datas lá colocadas sejam seguidas rigidamente. A pesquisa tem 3.000 entrevistas e era para ter começado sábado. Atrasou. Só isso. A informação vinda da campanha de Serra é coi­nrmadÃfssima.Um abraço.CORONEL

  4. kredit vergleich Says:

    , it is going to take rolling up our sleeves and getting to work in these neighborhoods and calling out folks to take responsibility for their children and their own actions.

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