Reader: “I will not be shaken,”
Response: “for he is right beside me.”
Scripture: Psalm 16
Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge.
I said to the Lord, “You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.”
The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!
Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.
I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood or even speak the names of their gods.
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.
The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!
I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Reader: “The word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
As I write this, the world is in the throes of panic over the coronavirus. Every single news story is about how many people are infected, how many have died so far, and how much worse it is going to get. People are cleaning out TP in stores! Really? By the time you read this, I wonder what the situation will be? Hopefully, TP will still be in existence! An “abundance of caution” is the phrase of the day. An event like this where death is part of the conversation, is most revealing. You’ve seen how fast attention turns to self. People are quick to hoard. In a matter of a few hours, grocery stores have bare shelves.
Without sports to watch, attend or speculate about, many people are lost. Those trusting in their portfolios are fearful and anxious. Where is the anchor in all of this turmoil? King David writes the stabilizer for us in Psalm 16. The virus is no match for God! It has not surprised him. It has no power over him. For good or ill, it has helped reveal the true hearts of the people. It has served to show those things in which people trust; those things about which people care; those different things which motivate people; and the virus has shown what people ultimately believe in for their safety. Hear again David’s words: “Keep me safe, O God. You are my Master. The godly people in the land are my true heros. Lord, you alone are my inheritance. You guard all that is mine. I will bless the Lord who guides me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. My body rests in safety. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence.” It doesn’t seem like there is any panic here, does it? Whether this virus business has calmed down by now, or is still stirring, the word of the Lord, as given to David, is the right place to live, always keeping God’s biggest picture in mind.
Music: “Be Still My Soul” Libera
O Thou full of compassion, I commit and commend myself unto Thee, in whom I am, and live, and know. Be Thou the Goal of my pilgrimage, and my Rest by the way. Let my soul take refuge from the crowding turmoil of worldly thoughts beneath the shadow of Thy wings; let my heart, this sea of restless waves, find peace in Thee, O God. Thou bounteous Giver of all good gifts, give to him who is weary refreshing food; gather our distracted thoughts and powers into harmony again; and set the prisoner free. See, he stands at Thy door and knocks; be it opened to him, that he may enter with a free step, and be quickened by Thee. For Thou art the Well-spring of Life, the Light of eternal Brightness, wherein the just live who love Thee. Be it unto me according to Thy word. Amen. ―St. Augustine (354-430)