Thursday, April 2, 2020

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Dear Christ Church Family,

This morning, a young mother and her child reminded me of the way to serenity. She is the Psalmist, the composer of this morning’s Psalm 131. I can’t imagine a more needed message for our times.


Thursday, April 2, 2020    RCL Daily Office Readings, Year 2

AM Psalm 131, 132, [133]

PM Psalm 140, 142
Exod. 7:25-8:19

2 Cor. 3:7-18

Mark 10:17-31

Saint Day

James Lloyd Breck

Psalm 131: A Song of Quietness. I have pointed out several times now, that some Psalms in the Bible were clearly written by women. It can also be presumed that since many Psalms in the Book of Psalms were composed by group effort, the contributors could also include women. Here, however, there seems little question about the gender of the Psalmist. The imagery is that of a young nursing mother and her peaceful child.

Psalm 131 is the perfect psalm with which to follow Psalm 130. For, after the cry to God, the expression of assurance of God’s forgiveness, and the Psalmist’s declaration to wait and hope in God’s steadfast love in Psalm 130, the response of this young woman in Psalm 131 is exactly what should happen: a calm and quieted soul. She has let go of fear and worry. Her primary desire is to just be absorbed into the present moment; to place herself fully into the presence of God in love, devotion, and simple trust. Her imagery shows that she identifies both as herself and as her child. She has placed herself before God both as the satisfied weaned child, and as a fulfilled nursing mother. The whole tenor of this Psalm is tranquility. “What other response,” this Psalmist might say to us, “could there possibly be to God’s love?”

 In this time of extreme stress, follow this Psalmist’s way of faith. Taking both Psalm 130 and 131 together, she is showing us how to survive the stress, and the extremely distressing news that pounds down upon our sense of wellness every hour. No matter how crazy and demanding things are or get, take time to be quiet. Take time to shelter yourself in a different place; place yourself in the shelter of the living God.

* Commemorations in italics are from A Great Cloud of Witnesses; others are from Lesser Feasts & Fasts 2018. [Commemorations in brackets appear in Lesser Feasts & Fasts 2018 for trial use.]