Bible Break for 3 April 2013.
The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Should I fear anyone?
The Lord is a fortress protecting my life.
Should I be frightened of anything?
Psalm 27:1 CEB
God is our light. God is our salvation. Of course, salvation is one of those words that has become very religious to most of us, a very churchy word. Even by the time the Psalms were written, its Hebrew word, yasha (יֵ֫שַׁע), certainly already had a very spiritual, divine connotation, but it was probably still also simply a word for safety or rescue in the most immediate and physical sense. For Christians, it is deeply symbolic and significant that Jesus’ name in Hebrew, Yeshua (‘ יֵשׁוּעַ) is literally the one who brings yasha. The one who brings safety. The saviour.
God is our light. God makes the bleak times bright. And God is the rescuer, the saver, the saviour. The world may be dim and terrifying, but God is brighter than the earth’s worst shadows. The world may be dangerous, but God is safer than life’s greatest threats.
Should I fear anyone?
The Psalmist’s question is rhetorical. It is clear that he thinks we shouldn’t. But also that he knows we do. That he knows he does.
There are some saints, people who live lives of holy example, who risk everything to stand up for what is right, to help the weak and oppressed, who seem to do so without flinching or fear. They have internalised this. The Lord is their light, their salvation, their fortress. But for those of us who aren’t there yet, there is light and salvation and protection just in the reminder. Just in telling ourselves God is with us, we find the courage to act more boldly, and ever more see that indeed, the Lord is there. My confession: I fear lots of people. But I know I shouldn’t. And that’s a step into the darkness, with my saviour at my side.
God of light, God of rescue, God of protection. As we trust you to light our way and keep us safe, help us step into the places you are calling us to go, not being afraid. Amen.
About Bible Breaks
Every day millions of Christians across the world in lots of different kinds of churches guide their Bible study by using a reading schedule called the “Revised Common Lectionary.” (Today’s readings are helpfully online on the Presbyterian Church USA’s website.) Each day (well, that’s the goal), I read the passages and choose one or two verses, make a small message about and prayer about them, and share it all online! This is to help you with your Bible study, and to help me with mine! And please, share on Facebook or Twitter if this message has helped you out today!
About Pastor Jean-Daniel
Pastor Jean-Daniel Williams is the young adult minister at St. James United Church in Montréal, and he is a PhD student at the Université de Montréal, where he specialises how we can use what we know about child and adolescent psychology to make churches better for kids and help them grow in faith and Christian living. He is married with two children.