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Psalm 31

To the leader. A Psalm of David.
In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
   do not let me ever be put to shame;
   in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me;
   rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
   a strong fortress to save me.

You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
   for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
   for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
   you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

You hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,
   but I trust in the Lord.
I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love,
   because you have seen my affliction;
   you have taken heed of my adversities,
and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
   you have set my feet in a broad place.

Psalm 31.1-8


Though the Psalms seem to express repeatedly an understanding that God makes bad and good happen to people based on their righteousness or unrighteousness, or declare their puzzlement at the wicked and rich prospering when the poor and righteous suffer, there are many moments of deep and profound insight which resonate through the centuries, 

One of them here in this Psalm, verse 7 says

"I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love,
   because you have seen my affliction;
   you have taken heed of my adversities,"

Love sees and takes heed of the afflictions others suffer. More than that it acts in response. Again and again in the Hebrew Scriptures we hear of God taking heed, of God hearing the cries of their people, of God seeing the pain of the poor and downtrodden and of God responding. 

Love takes note. And love acts. As we seek to live the love of God, we too are called to truly see and hear the needs and afflictions of others, especially those who are ignored or made voiceless by prejudice, poverty, unjust systems, racism, and all those -isms that human beings are prone to use to keep us from connecting with those we would rather not see, hear, address, or take note of. 

May our love be such that none are invisible, none unheard, and none unheeded. 


‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
   and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for God has looked with favour on the lowliness of their servant.
   Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
   and holy is God's name.
God's mercy is for those who fear them
   from generation to generation.
They have shown strength with their arm;
   and scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
   and lifted up the lowly;
they have filled the hungry with good things,
   and sent the rich away empty.
They have helped their servant Israel,
   in remembrance of their mercy,
according to the promise made to our ancestors,
   to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

Luke 1.46-55