by Darren Pope
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You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me (Psalm 31:3).
Thrashing out lyrics at the top of your lungs, laughing and smiling. Have you ever been in full voice with friends at a pub, concert or party? Chances are, you didn’t even know all of the lyrics, but you sang loud and strong anyway. It’s pretty funny to discover the real lyrics, particularly when you have been singing something else in your head, car or shower for years!
It seems quite random that a song is the focus of our reading, especially when we are bogged down and consumed by thoughts about the intensity of Jesus’ suffering, execution, death and burial as a stranger.
As a songwriter, David had a talent for cutting straight to the heart of real life and the authenticity of our human experience. Psalm 31 almost pleads with God to be there in moments of need, and it sounds a bit desperate. It’s not really a pumping karaoke number that we might smash out with our mates! It sits right at the heart of our very human need to know that we are cared for, safe and supported, no matter what. The good news is hidden within the lyrics of Psalm 31. Look beyond the yearnings. In our humanity, with moments of personal denial, doubt, desperation or dread, David continually draws our attention to the comfort, strength and safety of God’s unconditional and unfailing love. That is what we needed, David. Sing in your heart. Lift your voice. Lift your eyes. Tomorrow, he is risen!
Lord over suffering, Lord over hatred, Lord over brokenness, Lord over sin, Lord over death. Lord of love, Lord of life. Lord of grace, our new song is in you. Amen.