Daily Devotion - Thursday, March 17, 2016
13 For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life. 14 But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” - Psalm 39:13-14
I've been watching the recent political debates with a bit more interest than I have in past elections. The other day it struck me that almost every single presidential candidate had built their essential political platform upon the premise that the average American is worse off than at any other time in American history. Even the candidates from the incumbent party managed to make the same argument in one way shape or form.
It feels like the modern politician has to effectively convince us that there are problems, obstacles and dangers that are so vast, so incredibly insurmountable that the only recourse we have is to elect them to solve them. I'm starting to believe that whichever political party manages to create the most anxiety in their respective constituencies will ultimately prevail. An anxious and agitated electorate will be more energized to turn out and vote, you see.
In a twist on today's lectionary text, many of us will hear politicians whispering, "Terror on every side!" They goad us to action by convincing us, "There are plots against us everywhere! And the only way to thwart them is to trust in me!" But this is the exact opposite of what we see in Psalm 39, isn't it? The response of the psalmist to the threats and whispers is to say, "But I trust in you, Lord; I say, 'You are my God.'"
Just to be clear, there isn't a single politician who can save us, restore us, return our nation to a right relationship with God--no matter what kind of rhetoric they might be employing to convince you otherwise. Only Jesus can ultimately transform this world into the kingdom of God. Only Jesus can take the fear, anxiety and brokenness that surrounds us and make it whole.
Today is St. Patrick's Day, so I thought it appropriate to include a bit of one of St. Patrick's most famous prayers: The Lorica of St. Patrick from 377 AD. This morning, as you seek the strength of Jesus, pray this prayer to give you the courage you need to ignore the whispers and innuendo of terror, fear and dread, and simply trust in the Lord.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation...
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.