You're my refuge (Psalm 91)

posted Mar 4, 2022, 7:36 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family and Friends,


Lenten blessings to you!


As I was reading through my newest liturgy book Spring by Ruth Burgess, I came across a prayer written by my friend and colleague Rev. James Hart Brumm. I thought it spoke so well to our current climate of uncertainty with the war in Ukraine that I must share it with you. Indeed, the times we live in continue to be challenging, but we cling to the hope that God is our refuge. The prayer is based on Psalm 91, one of the lectionary readings for this Sunday. May it encourage and bless you for your Lenten journey with Jesus. And may those who are in the throes of war right now feel the abiding, holy refuge of our God.


You’re my refuge (Psalm 91)


You who live in the Most High's presence,

who camp in Almighty God's shadow, say this:

God, you're my refuge.

I trust you and I'm safe.

God will rescue you from hunters' traps,

heal you from deadly diseases.

God will protect you with outstretched arms.

Under God's wings you will be safe.

God's faithfulness is your armor.

God, you're my refuge.

I trust you and I'm safe.

We live in a dangerous world, great God,
too big for us to protect ourselves.

We offer ourselves to you, open ourselves to you,
and you keep us safe.

So we pray for the whole world, 

for all the people facing these dangers . . .

and we pray for those who lay down their lives . . .

and we pray for our leaders . . .

May we all find rest in your truth, your freedom,

Silence

Don't fear anything--not the monsters in the night,
not the arrows flying in the daytime,

not disease stalking you in the darkness,

not disaster erupting at high noon.

Even if a thousand are struck down in front of you,

or ten thousand drop like flies beside you,

none of it will overwhelm you.

You will watch the destruction of the wicked, 

but you won't be destroyed.

Because God is your refuge, 

because you are at home with the Most High,

evil cannot have you, destruction can't get through your door.

God, you're my refuge.

I trust you and I'm safe.

We know we aren't supposed to fear, Most High, 

but the world is a frightening place.

We offer ourselves to you, open ourselves to you,  

and you lift us past danger.

So we pray for those facing the monsters of this life, 

losing hope, all alone . . .

and we pray for those struggling
with illness, infirmity, and mortality . . .

and we pray for those facing death, destruction, and grief . . .

May we bring your safety, shelter, 

and comfort to carry them past all this.

Silence

God has given Divine messengers orders 

to guard you wherever you go.

They will catch you when you stumble, and never let you fall.

You will walk all over lions and deadly snakes

and kick young lions and serpents out of your way.

God promises: 

‘I will protect those who when hang on to me for dear life,

get to really know me and completely trust me.

I will come running they call, 

I'll stand by them through all the trouble,

I'll get them out of trouble and give them glory.

I'll be with them through a good long life, 

giving them a heaping portion of salvation.’

God, you're my refuge.

I trust you and I'm safe.

We know we should go out boldly in your name, Saving God, 

but, while we trust you, we don't trust ourselves.

We offer ourselves to you, open ourselves to you, 

and you make us Christ's body.

So we pray for your holy Church . . .

May we live in the boldness you plant in our hearts.

Silence

God, you're my refuge.

I trust you and I'm safe.


I look forward to being with you in person or on FaceBook live this First Sunday in Lent at 10:30 AM. Sarah Gordon is our featured musician and she will be singing “On Eagle’s Wings” for the Anthem. We have a very special Word with the Children called “Oliver Goes to Church” written by our very own Judy Daugherty. I will be preaching from Deuteronomy 26.1-11 and Luke 4.1-13 — Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness — and my sermon title is The Spirit of Strength. As it is the First Sunday, we will gather around God’s table of grace and celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. And coffee hour is back so come down to the Lower Auditorium after worship for coffee and conversation with your church family. 



In gratitude for the privilege of being your pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish

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