There are two parts of PBH’s song based on Psalm 2 that have really captured me – the lyric of “I will tell of the decree the lord said to me // you are my son today i have begotten you” and the ending “blessed are all who take refuge in // blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
Before getting into those…there’s two ways to engage this Psalm. One is what seems to be the original intent – a song about the anointing of God’s anointed – likely a king or a ruler. Could be David, could be someone else, could be a “king” in general. The second way is how it speaks to us on a more personal level – how does this Psalm speak into our own individual lives even if we aren’t “kings” and “rulers.”
As I listened to this song many times over the last week or so, I kept coming back to those two sections – the first that speaks to God having “begotten” us and the second about refuge. In the midst of my week with this song, I also started listening to the podcast, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.
The thing that I keep feeling as I listen to the story of what happened with Mars Hill Church in Seattle is sadness about people not finding the church to be a safe space. Now, I know Mark Driscoll would probably say that it isn’t supposed to be a safe place. In fact, even Annie Dillard has her famous quote about how people should wear hard hats in church and CS Lewis wrote of how Aslan/God isn’t “safe, but he’s good.” But a church should never be a place where people are belittled, torn down, attacked, and assaulted (verbally, emotionally, physically, sexually, or any other form). Churches can and should be places where we get convicted of ways to change our lives but that conviction should come wrapped explicitly in love and grace. Yes, we read the story of Jesus overturning the tables of the moneychangers, but there are far more stories of the way that he loved, cared, forgave, served, and shared.
The church should be a place where we are reminded that each of us are known by God in a beautiful and unique way and that, no matter what is happening in our lives, we can find safety not only in the physical space of the church but even more so in the spiritual, communal, and emotional life of the church. That’s something I want to be sure is the case for the congregation I serve today – I want this to be a space that is safe for anyone and everyone.
That’s where this photo comes in. I was actually listening to the Mars Hill podcast as I was walking Scout several nights ago and I saw this brief glimpse of the evening sun shining through dust / haze / mist. Regardless of what it was shining through, the way the light illuminated that one patch on the grass and the ways that the rays poured down gave me such a beautiful assurance of who God is and the ways that God works. Like the light illuminating that patch of ground, God sees us both individually and communally. God sees the beautifully unique image but also common that is within each of us and in God we have a place of safety, security, and refuge. I felt such a sense of joy and peace and hope as I received this moment.
I will tell of the decree the Lord said to me //
you are my daughter my son my child today i have begotten you //
blessed are all who take refuge in //
blessed are all who take refuge in God.