Awaken! Do not stray in the darkness forever!
Psalm 44: A Lectio Divina
A Lectio Divina meditation on Psalm 44 from Nan Merrill’s book Psalms for Praying
Experience stillness and in the quiet hear what God is offering from these rich and hope-filled words.
We have heard with our ears,
O rock of ages,
All generations have proclaimed
The mighty deeds You wrought
in their days,
in the days of old;
Of how You with your own hand
drove out the nations,
sowing seeds for new life;
Of how you led the peoples
and then You set them free;
For not by their own might did
they win the land,
nor did their own strength give
But by your power and your might,
and the light of your countenance;
for You sought to awaken them!
O, You who know all hearts,
who are ever-present to your people,
Through You we face our enemies;
through your Name we call froth
For not in military powers do we trust,
nor can arms save us.
For only in You can we put
our fears to rest,
and transform them into peace.
In you, O Gracious One, do we give thanks,
and forever will we offer You
our songs of praise.
Yet at times You seem to abandon us
leaving us alone with our fears.
You have given us the freedom
to turn from You;
then does our ego seek to rule the day.
We become as sheep for slaughter, straying far from the fold.
You seem to require too little of us,
remaining remote as we wander
on worldly highways.
Without your saving grace, we come in
conflict with our neighbours,
We fear all who seem different from us.
We seek to better ourselves at the expense
of other nations,
we become arrogant and greedy.
Our spirit weakens as we attack others,
we become deaf and blind
To the cries of those oppressed,
at the sight of those wronged.
As all this comes upon us, we finally
remember You, O infinite Love,
we pray for your strength in all
of our hopes and challenges.
Our hearts recall your promises of old;
to be with us always. Yet,
Deep darkness overshadows the land.
Until crises come, we forget the Name
of the Creator;
We spread forth our hands to
a world god.
Yet, can we ever hide from You, O Beloved?
For You know the secrets, the will,
of our hearts and mind.
No, Love does not abandon us;
we ourselves turn our faces
from the Light.
Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep,
O foolish peoples?
Awaken! Do not stray in the darkness
Why do you cover your faces?
Why are you ashamed and cast down?
With your souls bowed down to the
call out to the Beloved for forgiveness.
Rise up, pray for a change of heart!
Then will the Indwelling Presence,
the Divine Guest,
awaken you with kindly Love!