Located in South Tampa and witnessing to the love of God for over 90 years. Committed to a neighborhood presence, worldwide outreach and a deep heritage of Christian faith.

Reflection on Psalm 27

Lenten Reflection on Psalm 27 (below)
by: Lisle Gwynn Garrity

“My natural instinct when reading the Psalms is to personalize them, to welcome the ancient poet’s words as my own. When I first read through Psalm 27, I found myself transposing the psalmist’s literal threats—armies surrounding, enemies encroaching, safety retreating—into metaphorical ones that might resonate with my own experience. Suffocating stress, seasons of instability and uncertainty, relational conflict, disintegrating health—all of these threaten my own personal sense of security and well-being. However, I lead a life cushioned by support and physical safety. I have never had to pray to God to spare my life in the midst of war.

Sometimes, to remember that scripture is not for me but for all, I imagine the words spoken by someone with a vastly different life experience than my own. In my second reading of Psalm 27, I placed the words in the lips of a Guatemalan girl fleeing violence in her home to seek asylum in the States. I encourage you to read the psalm once again, imagining how the words come to life from this vantage point.

The most stunning moment in this prayer exists in verse 4. The poet turns from survival mode to seek God’s beauty and presence. Perhaps living at the edge of life teaches you that beauty, like light, is necessary for survival.”
-Lisle Gwynn Garrity

Psalm 27
Triumphant Song of Confidence

The Lord is my light and my salvation;   
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;   
of whom shall I be afraid? 

When evildoers assail me   
to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—   
they shall stumble and fall. 

Though an army encamp against me,   
my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,   
yet I will be confident. 

One thing I asked of the Lord,   
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord   
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,   
and to inquire in his temple. 

For he will hide me in his shelter   
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;   
he will set me high on a rock. 

Now my head is lifted up   
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent   
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,   
be gracious to me and answer me!
‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face!’   
Your face, Lord, do I seek.    
Do not hide your face from me.

Do not turn your servant away in anger,   
you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,   
O God of my salvation! 
If my father and mother forsake me,   
the Lord will take me up. 

Teach me your way, O Lord,  
and lead me on a level path   
because of my enemies.
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,  
for false witnesses have risen against me,   
and they are breathing out violence.

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord  
in the land of the living. 
Wait for the Lord;   
be strong, and let your heart take courage;   
wait for the Lord!

%d bloggers like this: