A reflection on Psalm 27 by Danny N. Schweers on March 13, 2022.
Readings: Genesis 15:1-12,17-18; Psalm 27; Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 13:31-35
Fear and anxiety are signs of separation.
When we are full of God’s Spirit, we do not fear what will happen, we wonder what will happen. We live in expectation. Full of God’s Spirit, we are not anxious about the possibilities, dreadful as many of them may be, but we are excited about the future, wondering where we will find God.
I am seldom full of God’s Spirit. I am often fearful and anxious about the future. If I can remember, I remind myself that fear and anxiety are signs of separation from God. If I can remember to do so, I remind myself that the cure is not to work harder or to hedge my bets or to make better plans or to sleep more or cope in some other way. The cure is to turn back to God, to switch my focus, to look for God’s face.
I would like to imitate the writer of Psalm 27 who puts fear away by seeking God’s face. It’s an odd phrase — to seek God’s face — yet many hundreds of years later we can still make sense of it. To seek God’s face is to seek the light and salvation that puts an end to fear. To find God’s face is to be strengthened. Even if an army campaigns against us, our hearts shall be unafraid, for our trust is in God.
I am particularly struck that the psalmist says, “One thing have I asked of the Lord; one thing I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the fair beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”
Fearful? Anxious? Seek the fair beauty of the Lord.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Danny N. Schweers serves on the Vestry at SsAM and wears other volunteer hats as well, including webmaster for this website. Every week he writes a prayer to go with one of his photos and sends them out to subscribers. Click here to see his Photo Prayer website.