“God is our Refuge and Strength”
On this final Sunday of year 2020 we have heard the words of Psalm 46 which is a fitting confession of faith for us at the end of another calendar year. A lot of people would say that 2020 has been a bit of a “crap year”. In the first quarter of the year, life as we knew it, came to a standstill because of the pandemic. New words and phrases such as “social distancing” became part of our lingo. “Online” everything became the standard way to live your life. Thankfully, the end of it is in sight, but the ramifications of all that has happened are still not known. Who knows what’s in store for the economy, people’s mental health, and even the institutional church. Now more than ever, we need a good word – a Gospel Word, centered in Jesus Christ: crucified, risen, and Lord.
Psalm 46 is a Gospel Word. It pulls us out of self-pity, social isolation, and it removes the blindfold imposed on us. The subject of the Psalm is the Almighty God of heaven and earth. He is our “mighty fortress and strength”. Martin Luther said this about Psalm 46,
“We sing this psalm to the praise of God, because God who is with us powerfully and miraculously, preserves and defends his church and his word against all fanatical spirits, against the gates of hell, against the implacable hatred of the devil, and against all the assaults of the world, the flesh, and sin.”