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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

A Mighty Fortress

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns. The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah ~ Psalm 46

You may recognize this Psalm as the basis from which Martin Luther wrote "A Mighty Fortess is our God."

It's also a Psalm that was widely read, quoted, and turned to right after 9/11.

And it is a Psalm that is often used in prayerful meditation: Be still and know that I am God.

How does it make you feel? Do you experience God as refuge and strength? As a very present help in trouble?

Do you feel God's presence in stillness?

Do you relish God's power over power itself? God's desire for peace?

It is impossible to fully put who God is or what God does into words. We just don't have adequate understanding or a big enough vocabulary.

But we can know how we experience God. We can find metaphors that are meaningful to us. They may not be perfect, but they can be helpful.

And even if we don't have true understanding, we have faith: faith that even our limited vocabulary can praise the One to who is always with us

Holy One, you are our refuge and strength. You are with us. Of this I can have confidence. Amen

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