Monday, January 30, 2017

Sanctuary, Resistance, and Psalm 10

There was a minute in church yesterday, just before worship got started, when I got a strong premonition which said, "Much will be required of you."

I thought, I wish I had taken better notes during the Sanctuary movement of the 80's.

I assumed the you was my church.  When I told my spouse of my premonition and my thinking of the Sanctuary Movement, my spouse said, "Well, we do have a cottage."

I love my spouse for many reasons, but our shared sense of social justice is a strong one.

While we were offline on Saturday, various lawyers, judges, and activists responded to actions made by the Trump administration against various groups of refugees and immigrants this week.  My pastor quickly changed the service and asked me to take part.

We read Psalm 10, my pastor and I:

The words of the Psalms often seem tailor-made to modern times, and I realize many have felt this way across thousands of years since they've been written.  But listen again to the words of the Psalmist:


Psalm 10

Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
    who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
    he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
His ways are always prosperous;
    your laws are rejected by[b] him;
    he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
    He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
His mouth is full of lies and threats;
    trouble and evil are under his tongue.
He lies in wait near the villages;
    from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
    like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
    he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
    they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God will never notice;
    he covers his face and never sees.”
12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
    Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
    Why does he say to himself,
    “He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
    you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
    you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
    call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
    that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
    the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
    so that mere earthly mortals
    will never again strike terror.


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