April 30, 2020

Alone with Thee

This morning's prayer reminded me of another hymn by Charles Wesley—arguably his best. In fact, Isaac Watts (who wrote Joy to the World, Our God Our Help in Ages Past, and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, among thousands of others) said that this single poem by Wesley was "worth all the verses that he himself had written."

This song is usually known by its first line, Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown, but Wesley himself called it Wrestling Jacob, since it is the Genesis story of Jacob wrestling God at the ford of the River Jabbok, re-told from the perspective of person discovering the Christian nature of grace. In thinking about this hymn for the first time in a long time, I was suddenly struck by the

True Joy

Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!
You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
—Psalm 30:10-12

A garment made of sackcloth is not itself grief, but is something I might put on to symbolize grief. Though clothes might make the man (in my case), they are nonetheless not the man. God can rid me of symbols and accessories that I imagine tell me who I am and how I should feel and replace them with real emotion. Then the way I express myself comes straight from my innermost

April 29, 2020

Her Name Is Gladness

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.
O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy Name.
For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
—Psalm 30:1-5

From the Expositor's Bible (1892):
A double antithesis moulds the beautiful image of the last clause. Night and morning are contrasted, as are weeping and joy; and the latter contrast is more striking, if it be observed that 'joy' is literally a 'joyful shout,' raised by the voice that had been breaking into audible weeping. The verb used means to lodge for a night, and thus the whole is a picture of two guests, the one coming, sombre-robed, in the hour befitting her, the other, bright-garmented, taking the place of the former, when all things are dewy and sunny, in the morning. The thought may either be that of the substitution of joy for sorrow, or of the

April 28, 2020

Lift Up Louisville

The Ville now has a coronavirus anthem. Perhaps it's not the greatest song on earth, but its spirit carries it.

Aquatic Images

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his Name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!
—Psalm 29

Like many Christians, I associate the 29th Psalm with the gentle and life-giving rite of baptism, since it is appointed for the First Sunday after the Epiphany (the Baptism of the Lord). But in actually reading it, I discover that this psalm is much wilder and much more primitive than just about any other. So what do I

April 27, 2020

Be Their Shepherd

O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them forever.
—Psalm 28:9

Bible translations can be a touchy subject, and it's often said that the old translations (and I usually hear this about the KJV in particular) are more poetic and beautiful (even if a bit more difficult to follow).  But here's a case, I think, where the beauty of a more modern translation eclipses that of its ancestors.

Where the NRSV has "be their shepherd" in Psalm 28:9, the Geneva Bible and the King James Version translate this simply as "feed them." The actual Hebrew uses "shepherd" as a verb, so either interpretation is acceptable. But in this case, the more modern translation helps bring home the rôle God plays in our lives. A shepherd doesn't just feed, but also guides and protects.

Just as one Bible translation might do a better job than another of portraying

April 26, 2020

April 26 Worship

The order for April 26 worship includes:
  • Chimes
  • Welcome
  • Call to Worship (from Ps. 25)
  • Opening Prayer
  • Scripture Reading (John 15:13-15)
  • Meditation
  • Pastoral Prayer
  • Blessing of Peace Cranes*
  • Lord's Prayer
  • Music (Shenandoah)
  • Communion Prayer
  • Words of Institution + Sharing the Bread & Cup
  • Benediction
  • Response (Go Now in Peace)
(As always, it's best to watch the video full screen.)
*We are sending 1000 peace cranes to the Cobequid United Church of Canada Pastoral Charge in Nova Scotia, Florence Antle-Brison, pastor. We do this, because after the Chardon High School shooting of 2012, Pilgrim Church was the recipient of 1000 peace cranes. This was so meaningful that a group of PCC members took up the work of folding cranes and sending them to places that had experienced similar tragedies. We have since sent cranes to churches, synagogues, and mosques throughout the USA and the world.

Stand Firm

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!
—Psalm 27:7-14

At first glance, it looks like the psalmist is in trouble and advocates doing nothing as a solution. They seem to take the saying, "Faith is the answer," to the extreme. But that's not really what's going on here.

Calvin ends his discussion of this psalm by reminding us of Isaiah 30, where God makes a beautiful promise: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in

April 25, 2020

The Shadows Lengthen

The gospel reading appointed for tomorrow (the third Sunday of Easter) contains a verse which, on the surface, does little more than move the narrative along:
Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.  (Luke 24:29)
But in reality, these words are deeply evocative of our need for Christ. Indeed, it inspired my favorite evening prayer—a prayer that is also sometimes used for funerals:

O Lord, support us all the day long until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, in your mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Place to Turn To

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.
—Psalm 27:4-5

What would be the one thing I'd ask of the Lord? Material blessings? Health? Love from other people? When I think about it, I'd probably ask that I'd never be touched by trouble.

But in the 27th Psalm, I'm taught that the one thing I might ask would be to live in God's presence my whole life long. Why? Not so trouble won't touch me—because a trouble-free life would be monotonous and ultimately joyless—but

April 24, 2020

A Threefold Shield

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? 
—Psalm 27:1 (Geneva Bible 1560)

When God shows you his love and forgiveness, there is nothing to be afraid of. This is reïnforced by the fact that David calls God not only his light, but his salvation, and the strength of his life. His point was to put a sort of "threefold shield" between him and whatever he was afraid of.

I just paraphrased part of John Calvin's commentary on Psalm 27 because I think he's onto something. How often do I turn to God only after all other avenues have turned into dead ends? Had I actually sought God's presence and guidance before my problems began—even if the problems themselves couldn't be avoided—my interpretation of their meaning and impact would have

April 23, 2020

Integrity in Public Life

Do not sweep me away with sinners, nor my life with the bloodthirsty,
those in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes.

—Psalm 26:9-10

In a time of judgment, the psalmist in Psalm 26:9 wants to be distinguished from the evil who will be condemned. That sinners are mentioned is no surprise and needs little debate—but the word could be defined a bit more specifically. This the psalmist does in a very explicit way in the next clause, referring to the bloodthirsty.

I might immediately assume that the bloodthirsty are murderers or, more broadly, warmongers. But in verse 10, the way they are defined is quite surprising. The psalmist defines the bloodthirsty who have זִמָּ֑ה on their hands (plural). The NRSV translates this word as evil devices while older translations

April 22, 2020

Where Does God Live?

Here's the church, here's the steeple, open the doors and see all the people.
O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides.
—Psalm 26:8

Where does God live? What is this house I love? Is it heaven? That's where most people seem to think God lives, after all. But no reliable authority actually teaches that the heavens are "God's house" and that we should gaze up there longingly. In fact, Luke says the opposite (Acts 1:10-11)—at least about the gazing part.

In the Hebrew Bible, God's house seems to be the Temple. And perhaps that's what the psalmist meant when s/he wrote, "I love the house in which you dwell." But when that Temple was dedicated, Solomon—the king who built it—

April 21, 2020

Examine My Reins

Prove me, O Lord, and try me: examine my reins, and mine heart.
—Psalm 26:2 (Geneva Bible 1560)


My meditation on this verse last year bears repeating year after year. 

What the NRSV translates as "test my heart and mind," the old Geneva Bible (as well as the King James Version) rendered "examine my reins and mine heart." At first glance, neither seems to be a literal translation of the Hebrew, which asks God to "refine my kidneys and my heart." But it turns out the Geneva Bible actually is. That's because rein, which to us is a strap that connects horse

April 20, 2020

Integrity

May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
—Psalm 25:21

In the resurrection of Christ, we see how God not only takes disparate individuals and unites them into one body, but also takes broken people and makes them whole within themselves. This inner wholeness is the integrity spoken of in this morning's psalm. In a way, this is referring to ethical behavior. But at its root, integrity refers to wholeness, or, in this case, not having divided loyalties. The psalmist says this is what is needed for self-preservation.

But wholeness and preservation are God's domain, because the last part of this psalm makes it clear that my integrity and my uprightness are not of my own doing. If I long for preservation (which, in this case, I think is the same as

April 19, 2020

April 19 Worship

Here's the order for the online 15-minute worship service on the Second Sunday of Easter:
  • Chimes
  • Welcome
  • Call to Worship (from Ps. 111)
  • Opening Prayer
  • Scripture (1 John 4:18)
  • Meditation on the Fear of God
  • Music (How Great Thou Art)
  • Communion Prayer
  • Words of Institution/Sharing the Bread & Cup
  • Benediction
  • Response (Go Now in Peace)
Remember, the video is best viewed full screen.

More in Store

Psalm 25:14 may seem straightforward when reading the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, but in reality this is far from the truth.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes his covenant known to them.
From what I can tell, the Hebrew word ס֣וֹד on its own is never translated as friendship. Its most common translation is secret, but here I think counsel also works. Some would even say, "The secret counsel of the Lord..." which, of course, would have had John Calvin dancing for joy. For example, look at my

April 18, 2020

Despair and Hope

Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
 —Psalm 25:5
  
Last year, I prayed this verse on Holy Saturday—just a couple of days after the Notre Dame fire. Circulating on the internet at that time was a photograph of a cross shining in the darkness and destruction of the cathedral. I compared it to the wait between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, when a cross shining in the nothingness was all there was. It shone not only for what was, but also for what might be—a symbol of both

April 17, 2020

Strong in the Struggle

Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle.
—Psalm 24:8 ✝︎

For today's world, I might translate the answer to the question, "Who is the King of glory?" as "The Lord—powerful, mighty; the Lord—strong in the struggle." Usually I try to get closer to the Hebrew, not further from it. But we don't always relate to the warrior God our ancestors in the faith worshiped. But if few of us understand a battle God, most of us want to relate to a God who's with us when we struggle.

And we're struggling now. So to know that the "King of Glory" that we hear so

April 16, 2020

Much-Needed Lesson

Billions of people around the world are under lockdown. After just a few weeks of this, something amazing has begun to happen. Normally dirty air has become crystal clear. Water that is usually choked with pollutants is suddenly clean. Wild animals have returned to urban habitats that were theirs before humans paved them over. Even some domesticated animals have invaded city neighborhoods to graze on lawns that would be off-limits to them under normal

April 15, 2020

A Table Prepared for Me

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
—Ps. 23:5-6

I've always had trouble with the image of my enemies looking on as I sit down to a banquet prepared just for me. But I realize that the scriptures don't forbid me from inviting them to join me. Indeed, if Christ is my example, then the One who dined with traitors and sinners would have me sit down and eat with those that I might disagree with or feel uncomfortable around.

Surely a table prepared for me is intended for others as well.

Teach me the generosity of grace, Lord, that I might share your bounty not just with my friends and family, but with all who are hungry. I pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ, who gave himself to nourish us all, and who taught his disciples to pray: Our Father...

April 14, 2020

The Darkest Valley

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
Ps. 23:4

To the Reformed way of thinking, there is but one thing that takes away the fear of evil and death, and that is the doctrine of justification by faith. As long as there is a belief that our future state depends upon our deeds, words, and thoughts, then every transgression or mistake cannot but create despair. But the assurance that it is only God's good grace that will bring us through this life into the next removes this anxiety. "Until we have reached that haven," Calvin said (Institutes 3.13.5), "the slightest breeze will make us tremble, but so long as

April 13, 2020

Obrigado

This is perhaps the loveliest tribute I've seen yet during this pandemic. According to CBS News,
On Easter Sunday, the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was lit up to look like a doctor wearing a stethoscope and white coat. Messages of thanks flashed across the landmark as a way to honor health care professionals around the world on the front lines of the coronavirus battle.
Please watch the video if you need a message of hope (best if watched full-screen):

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The 23rd Psalm is not just one of the most beautiful passages of scripture, it is one of the world's loveliest poems. From start to finish, it is a model of reassurance. And yet today I admit that it is causing me some trouble. Yes, I acknowledge that the Lord is my shepherd, and I am but a sheep in the pasture of God. And yet I question where I and the rest of the flock are being led. Well, not so much the destination, but the path. I know where people of

April 12, 2020

Easter Worship

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Below is a brief online worship service that includes at-home communion. Here's the order:
  • Chimes
  • Welcome
  • Call to Worship (Psalm 126)
  • Opening Prayer
  • Scripture Reading (Matthew 28:1-11)
  • Meditation
  • Pastoral Prayer
  • Invitation (Words of Institution)
  • Communion Prayer
  • Sharing the Bread & Cup
  • Benediction
  • Response (Go Now in Peace)

Arise, My Love

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it

Some Easter Prayers

I'll start out with this German Reformed prayer, because it was so easily adapted to the current situation:
Today we celebrate Easter, O God,
the victory of life over death.
But now as much as ever,
our lives are still defined by death.
Today we celebrate Easter,
the victory of joy over adversity.
But especially during this time of pandemic,

Remember

Stand in awe of him, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, neither has he hid his face from him; but when he cried to him, he heard.
Of you comes my praise in the great assembly. I will pay my vows before those who fear him.
The humble shall eat and be satisfied. They who seek after the Lord shall praise him. May your hearts live forever.
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to God.
—Psalm 22:23b-27a

Both Matthew and Mark record the opening line of Psalm 22 as having been uttered by Jesus on the cross. It is likely—I would even say probable—that Jesus finished praying this psalm, if not audibly, then in his heart. If this is the case, then the prayer was concluded not in doubt and dejection, but with an

April 11, 2020

Your Only Comfort

I was thrown on you from my mother's womb. You are my God since my mother bore me. 
—Psalm 22:10 
I'm quoting here from the World English Bible because its use of "thrown" is more explicit than the more formal "cast" used in the New Revised Standard (which continues a trend set at least as early as the late 16th century Geneva Bible). The original Hebrew הָשְׁלַכְתִּי is even more vivid, meaning something more akin to "I was flung."

And so when I started meditating on Psalm 22 the other day, I think the last thing I expected to discover was an affirmation of infant baptism. But here we have the psalmist finding comfort in having been turned over to God when still a baby. Naturally, this might also refer to infant dedication. But there's something about this statement which implies that the relationship between the psalmist

April 10, 2020

Good Friday Worship

Today's simple worship service is a reading of the Passion, followed by a meditative prayer and concluding with the Lord's Prayer.

Ah, Holy Jesus


Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,

Good Friday

But I am a worm, and not human; scorned by others, and despised by the people.
All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
“Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”
—Ps. 22:6-8

No two passages of scripture seem to me to be more closely related than Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53:2b-3—
He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.
And there's no better day to meditate on these passages than on the day we

April 9, 2020

Maundy Thursday Worship

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
—John 13:34
  • Greeting
  • Call to Worship
    from Psalm 116
  • Opening Prayer
  • Explanation of "Maundy"
  • Scripture Reading
    from John 13
  • Meditation
  • Invitation
    from 1 Corinthians 11
  • Communion Prayer
  • Lord's Prayer
  • Sharing the Bread & Cup
  • Anti-Benediction

'Tis Midnight...


'Tis midnight; and on Olive's brow
the star is dimmed that lately shone:
'tis midnight; in the garden now
the suff'ring Savior prays alone.

'Tis midnight; and, from all removed,

We Are One In The Spirit

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
—John 13:35

Forsaken

The Book of Psalms is a collection of the prayers of the Hebrew people. As such, it would have been Jesus' principle prayer book. It is natural to assume that he was taught these prayers as a youth, and that they continued to play an important rôle in his adult spirituality. This assumption is proven to be fact on the cross, when Jesus turns to one of the psalms to express the inexpressible:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? 
—Psalm 22:1

Growing up, I used to hear it said that, since Jesus became our sin (see 2 Cor. 5:21), his quotation of this verse needs to be taken literally—that indeed God

April 8, 2020

His Heart's Desire

In your strength the king rejoices, O Lord, and in your help how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips.
 —Ps. 21:1-2

I was shocked recently when I read that a very important elected official from one of our largest states implied that, in the face of the current health crisis, grandparents should be willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the economy. I subsequently looked up this official's Wikipedia entry, and was disappointed (though not surprised) to discover that his "Christian" faith was

April 7, 2020

Y'all Are God's Temple

In 1 Corinthians 3:16, Paul tells the church that we are God's temple. It's easily misunderstood in contemporary translations, because it's rendered, "You are God's temple." Though  in modern English this is correct, it's so unclear on this point that most dialects (most American dialects, anyway) have found ways around what was easy to say four or more centuries ago: Y'all are God's temple. You'uns are God's temple. Youse are God's temple. You guys are God's temple. Or, as the King James Bible puts it, Ye are God's temple. Alone,

April 6, 2020

Sweeter Also Than Honey

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
✙ Ps. 19:7-13 ✙

Psalm 19 is one of the best loved chapters in the entire psalter, but that doesn't mean it's not complicated (read "confusing"). In it, I move immediately from the wordless speech of the first six verses to a beautiful section of praise for God's

April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday Worship

I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.
—Luke 19:40
A brief, online worship service for Palm Sunday, designed for those sheltering in place during the covid-19 pandemi
  • Greeting
  • Opening Prayer
  • Scripture: Luke 19:28-40
  • Meditation
  • Communion Prayer 
  • Lord's Prayer
  • Sharing the Bread & Wine
  • Blessing
  • Response: Go Now in Peace

Palm Sunday Prayers

Here are three Palm Sunday prayers from around the world.

This responsive prayer is from the Church of Scotland's (1994) Book of Common Order:
Humble and riding on a donkey,
we greet you;
acclaimed by crowds and caroled by children,
we cheer you;
moving from the peace of the countryside to the corridors of

Their Voice Goes Out

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
Ps. 19:1-4a

The 19th Psalm is as confusing as it is glorious. The heavens declare and the firmament proclaims, days and nights both speak. And yet, as if in the same breath, the psalmist declares that there is no speech, no words, no voice. This is followed immediately by the declaration that there is indeed a voice, and there are in fact words.

What's going on here? I think the answer is obvious: The psalm isn't contradicting itself. I simply need to broaden my definition of language. I might

April 4, 2020

Let the King Live!

The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation.
Ps. 18:46

Calvin points out something interesting here. He says that one possible translation of the first part of Psalm 18:46 is Let the Lord live! Grammatically, this means interpreting the verb to be in the optative mood. This is the way we might express ourselves should we say, Long live the king! We see this more clearly in other languages such as German (Es lebe der König!) or Spanish (¡Que viva el rey!), where the word "long" isn't used at all—instead they simply say, "Let the king live!"

So how might that make a difference in the way I read this beautiful little

April 3, 2020

Lord of Hosts

He made my feet like the feet of a deer, and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
Ps. 18:33-34 

I think of God as a God of peace, and the Christian religion as being opposed to war. But that's not necessarily consistent with the images I find in the Bible. Israel's God is often referred to as the Lord of hosts (i.e. armies), and there are more stories of the Lord waging war in the Hebrew Bible than making peace. And even in the New Testament, militaristic imagery is prominent, such as Jesus' use of the sword metaphor and "the whole armor of God" passage in

April 2, 2020

Who Is God?

For who is God except the Lord? And who is a rock besides our God?— the God who girded me with strength, and made my way safe.
—Ps. 18:31a 

When I read the question posed in Psalm 18:31, I might assume it to be a rhetorical question. The Lord is a synonym for God, so of course, God is God. It's a no-brainer.

But, as in so many other psalms, if I look at a different, more literal translation of the Hebrew, my meditation on this verse might be led in a different direction. For example, the World English Bible translation asks the question this way:

April 1, 2020

Light Up My Darkness

For you will light my lamp. The Lord, my God, will light up my darkness. 
Ps. 18:28

I think today's beautiful little verse means more to us than we usually let it... perhaps even more than we usually want it to. Even the most boring or lethargic among us lead lives that are too busy for God. Reading the Bible, praying, or meditating on "godly" subjects are things all people of faith know we ought to be doing. It's just that we have better things to do. A lot of that is going to work or school, shopping, doing errands, volunteering—even for religious causes—or simply running around visiting or taking care of our daily business. And when we're not out-and-about, we have housework, television, social