Monday, Advent Week 2: Shaken

The Psalms of Advent

Greetings to you as we begin the second week of Advent and our communal journey to that which is life-giving and light-giving in this season of darkness, waiting, and anticipation.  You are invited to light a candle and join me as we unwrap the next Psalm of Advent, Psalm 21, verses 1-7, 13: 

The king rejoices in your strength, LORD.
How great is his joy in the victories you give!
You have granted him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.
You came to greet him with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
length of days, for ever and ever.
Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
Surely you have granted him unending blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the LORD;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken. . . .
Be exalted in your strength, LORD;
we will sing and praise your might.
(New International Version)

Psalm 21 is another royal psalm about a king.  It begins with grateful acknowledgment for all that the Lord/Yahweh/God has done for King David and any other of the numerous kings of Israel.  It is verse 7 that captures my attention in the midst of this abundant thanksgiving:  For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.”

Shaken.  There is the word.  Certainly, kings and leaders of any type and nature have cause to be shaken, either by the events of the world or by rivalries.  If, in fact, King David himself wrote this psalm, he had much to be shaken about:  adultery and murder being two “concerns.”  Yet this king trusts enough in God’s love not to be shaken.

Shaken.  What a powerful word that applies not just to kings.  I think of the Ukrainian people shaken this past year by a neighboring country invading them.  I think of those Russian people shaken because they voiced their dissent and now find themselves in prison and their families in trouble.  I think of the victims of hate speech who are shaken by evil words thrust at them and shaken by what others, influenced by those words, might do to them.  I think of parents shaken when their children go missing; I think of those shaken by medical test results they never suspected; I think of the partner shaken by the unexpected departure of  the other; the person shaken by loss of income, and on and on.  I doubt any of us will get through this life without being shaken.  Yet, while the world and others might fail us, this psalmist claims that we will not be shaken by our unfailing trust in the Lord; instead, we will be grounded, come what may.

I am reminded of a season in my own life when I was shaken to the depths.  I clearly remember driving by a church at the time where the marquee posted a quotation by Corrie Ten Boom, a German concentration camp survivor (who watched her sister, Betsie, die there).  Ten Boom wrote, “There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still.”  There is NO pit SO DEEP that GOD (by whatever holy name we address God) is not DEEPER still.  That quotation became my lifeline.  It pulled me back to resurrection.

If seeking Light in the darkness is about anything, it surely is about hope, resurrection and new life.  It surely is about what waits at the end of the tunnel and across the empty desert.  It surely is about grounding in those times when we feel shaken.  It surely is about Advent.

Blessings ~ Rosemary

Photo credit: Pixabay

Author: remcmahan

Poet, writer, minister, wanderer, traveler on the way, Light-seeker ~ hoping others will join me on the journey of discovering who we are and were meant to be. You can reach me at 20rosepoet20@gmail.com or at my blog, Spirit-reflections.org.

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