Going Deeper 10-23-19

The Psalm for Reformation Sunday…

Psalm 46   God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.  God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.  The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.  "Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth."  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.


What a wonderful and relevant Psalm!  This is traditionally read on Reformation Sunday because it inspired Martin Luther to write the great hymn “A Mighty Fortress is our God.”


Of course, Luther understood a lot about chaos.  His journey leading to the events which brought about the Reformation was tumultuous, to say the least.  And in the midst of the chaos, he experienced God as a “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  The world around him seemed to be in utter chaos, and this did produce times of incredible stress which shook him to his very core.  He experienced fear and suffered a great deal of heartbreak.  These were very real.  Yet in the midst of the chaos, Luther learned to “Be still” and to remember that the Lord is God, and is always present with His people, providing the only fully reliable “refuge and strength.”


These promises are here for us as well.  The world around us (and close to us) too often seems increasingly chaotic.  We don’t have to listen to the news/noise for long to know that “nations (including our own) are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter.”  For some, bad news from a doctor, from a boss, or from a loved one rocks their world.  For others the chaos is not “out there” but inside as they struggle with addictions or depression or other types of internal struggles.  But, again, the promises are there for us as well.  God is our refuge—providing protection, and our strength—providing support and care in times of struggle.


I’m not sure there are too many scripture verses more helpful in times of hardship than this: “"Be still, and know that I am God!” 


With You in His Love,


Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."