The sun shall not strike you
… the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by nightPs 121
I‘ve been blessed to spend two nights away with the Franciscans at their community in Hillfield, Dorset. For me it’s such a privilege to be able to pause parish life and share in their daily pattern of prayer and praise – parish priests rarely get to worship themselves…
My day begins there, as it does at home, with 30/40mins silent prayer and then I join the community for morning prayer at 7.30am. As I walked to the chapel, the moon was still up and nearly full and its light caught the frost covered Dorset hills and they shimmered… As we prayed the psalms we said the verse from Ps. 147 ‘His word runs swiftly… he scatters the hoarfrost like ashes’. In that moment God’s word really came alive!
When I got home, Jane and I took Brynn for his evening walk and Jane took the picture (better on her phone!) of the full moon over Snowhill Creek. As we gazed at it, I heard the words so familiar to those who love the Psalms – ‘The sun shall not strike you by day nor the moon by night…’
Do you often find that words of scripture come alive for you as you go about the everyday? I hope so. God’s living word is a light for our feet and a lamp for our path as we journey through life – not just a religious activity. Sometimes we don’t quite understand the context. Surely the beauty of the full moon is a blessing not a curse? But when the Psalmist composed Ps 121 – three thousand years ago – the moons light was associated with disturbances to the mind and spirit. This isn’t so unfamiliar to us – it’s where we get our word lunacy from…
Scripture is God’s living word and the Bible contains everything necessary for our salvation in this life and beyond. But it’s good to understand it more fully so that we can truly live it in our lives – here and now. To me, that’s scriptural integrity.
Starting from this Advent, Bishop Martin is inviting the Diocese to spend 2023 sharing in a closer reading and understanding of God’s living word in the Old Testament. We all have our favourite ‘books’ and stories.
I enjoy nothing more than being pickled in psalms!
In Harbour Churches, we’ll begin our closer walk with the Old Testament in the New Year as we celebrate the season of Epiphany – God’s revealing of Christ’s true nature.
Until then, may the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you to scatter any darkness from before your path and make you ready to meet Him when He comes in glory… each and every day.
Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus!