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Psalm 43

The Psalm for this coming Sunday, the 5th Sunday in Lent, is the unparalleled 43rd Psalm:

Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me! 2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of my enemy? 3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! 4 Then I will go to the altar of god, to god my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Jesus, with whom you were forever made one in baptism, is the Lord's Light and Truth; Light and Truth which live in you, and permeate your whole being, body, soul and spirit. We have many enemies, and no humanly devised defense can defeat them. Left on our own, apart from Christ who is Light and Truth, we would indeed "go about mourning because of the oppression of my enemy." What are those enemies? Sin and all of its miserable consequences: pain, sorrow, illness, poverty, frustration, fractured relationships, weakness, guilt, regret, despair, danger, people who wrong us ... and so many more.

But, unlike people today, David does not live in denial of reality.

He doesn't bury his head in the sand, and construct an ideological utopia.

Instead he recognizes every enemy for what it is, and brings them up before his God, at the altar.

We do the same as often as we "eat This bread and drink This cup" (1 Corinthians 11:26). Here the church says to "cast down souls," "Lift up your hearts." And the church responds, "We lift them up unto the Lord." Thus, like David, we too can say, "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God."

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