Micah 4:1-5; Psalm 79
(The Lord) shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares… nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. (Micah 4:3, NRSV)
They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the air for food. (Psalm 79:2a, NRSV)
Have you ever noticed the way passages of the Bible sometimes duel with each other? The prophet Micah paints a scene of God bringing restoration of his country and peace to his countrymen and women. The Psalmist paints a picture of a country laid waste and the lives of those in it treated as birdseed. Both the prophet and the Psalmist are right. There are times when things get pretty rough, we don’t feel valued, and we have a tough time defending our faith in light of the events going on around us. As people of faith, however, we also know, often against conventional wisdom, that God will prevail, people will gain peace and dignity, and “no one shall make (us) afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts (will have) spoken.” (Micah 4:4 NRSV) Even our gloomy Psalmist confidently addresses God as he looks forward to the day when “we your people, the flock of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever.” (Psalm 79:13 NRSV)
Lord of the present and future, give us confidence that you are with us no matter what is happening in our lives and in the world around us. Give us hope that you will bring peace to the world and restore the dignity of all within it. Tell us how we can participate in your work. Equip us to do so. Amen.
– Fr. Larry Parrish, St. Thomas Episcopal Church