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Speaking to the Soul: No King Can Be Saved

Speaking to the Soul: No King Can Be Saved

Independence Day

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 33 (morning) // 107:1-32 (evening)

Ecclesiasticus 10:1-8,12-18

James 5:7-10

The Psalm appointed for the morning of Independence Day, fittingly enough, celebrates life without a king. The Psalmist points out that earthly kings put their trust in all the wrong places, such as in troop escalation and personal strength. The Psalm declares, “There is no king that can be saved by a mighty army; / a strong man is not delivered by his great strength.  / The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; / for all its strength it cannot save.” Earthly forms of strength cannot endure.

Instead, the Psalm invites people to put their trust in God’s loving-kindness. In the Psalm’s imagery, God sits enthroned over the whole earth, gazing over all people, and shaping the hearts of those who will trust him. The Psalm directs our attention to this God, saying, “Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear him, / on those who wait upon his love.” We can look over the heads of every earthly authority to see the God who asks to rule us through justice and love.

For those of us commemorating a national holiday, perhaps we can make one verse from this Psalm our prayer for the day: “Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us, / as we have put our trust in you.” And may all people throughout the earth put trust not in authoritarian rulers, but in greater loving-kindness.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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