Read Psalm 27.
While camping in the woods of Western North Carolina, the slow and heavy steps of a bear could be heard in the darkness outside our tent. Fear gripped and immobilized us so that our whispers became wordless. We knew what to do — but doing it was a different matter.
We needed to start making noise.
When the Psalmist is beset by enemies, armies of the wicked who are encamped all around and eager to eat flesh, the Psalmist says, “Whom shall I fear?” Within the tabernacle of the Lord, there is peace and security. The tent of God is a place of shouting, singing, and crying aloud — even while providing hidden shelter from enemies.
Just as the tabernacle moved through the wilderness, so the presence of God moves with us through this world. This presence is ours in Christ who gives us his Spirit and draws us to his Father. In him, we find shelter and refuge from our enemies. Christ is the rock under our feet which allows us to lift our head above our enemies.
The Psalmist wants one thing: to be in the presence of God. In that presence is an ongoing, life-giving conversation. “Seek my face,” says the Lord. “Your face, Lord, do I seek,” replies the Psalmist. Whether in conversation or in crying out — God’s presence is here for us.
O Lord Our God, hear us as we pray, and speak to us. To you we cry out and your face we seek. Shelter us in your tent and protect us in the midst of our enemies. Be present to us we pray, Amen.
Rev. Noah McIntee