Psalm 5 (NRSV)
Give ear to my words, O Lord;
give heed to my sighing.
Listen to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil will not sojourn with you.
The boastful will not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house,
I will bow down toward your holy temple
in awe of you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.
For there is no truth in their mouths;
their hearts are destruction;
their throats are open graves;
they flatter with their tongues.
Make them bear their guilt, O God;
let them fall by their own counsels;
because of their many transgressions cast them out,
for they have rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
so that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover them with favor as with a shield.
We live in partisan political times. We are bombarded with news about political leaders who lie and only act in their own best interest. We see images of vulnerable families being torn apart, the negative effects of climate change, and military conflicts around the world. These images cause people to feel anxious, depressed, and powerless to make things better. During Lent, we ask ourselves: How should we respond as members of God’s Kingdom?
Psalm 5 reassuringly reminds us that God has been here before. This turmoil is nothing new. God recognizes evil and lying and sin in this world. Judgment is left in God’s hands. We are not called to fix everything. If we humbly bow down and pray, then God will lead us in paths of righteousness and make our way straight. I believe God opens doors of opportunity for each of us to help make the world a better place. This passage suggests that our eyes will be more open to opportunities, and we will be better prepared to serve, after prayerful consideration and openness to God’s will.
God’s path may be unfamiliar and scary. We may be called to do random acts of kindness to help strangers. We may have an opportunity to quietly and respectfully listen to someone we disagree with and to respond in a loving way that leads to friendship. We may be called to volunteer or donate money to further good causes. We may need to be more positive, kind, and supportive to our own friends and family. But one thing we know for sure – God has been here before and we will get through this together.
Dear God, please help me to humbly pray and to listen for your answers with an open heart.