S (Scripture): Psalm 9
But the Lord rules forever!
He assumes his throne
for the sake of justice.
He will establish justice in the world rightly;
he will judge all people fairly.
The Lord is a safe place for the oppressed—
a safe place in difficult times.
Those who know your name trust you
because you have not abandoned
any who seek you, Lord.
O (Observation): The Lord is a safe place for the oppressed. The psalms were written at many different times throughout the history of God’s people. Some were written in times of peace. Some were written in times of great struggle and adversity. This Psalm reflects one of those times of great adversity.
But a ray of hope keeps God’s people from despair. They trust that all who are oppressed and seek the Lord will find a home with God.
A (Application): The oppressed of our day are many: LGBTQ+, immigrants, those who receive abuse, mentally and physically challenged people, and more. The Church was known as a place of refuge for a long, long time, choosing to aid the oppressed in all places.
My hope is that all churches can be places of refuge for the oppressed, once again. May churches be places where all are welcomed with a true sense of welcome, not a bait and switch type of welcome. Just welcoming folks for who they are is the first and vital step to help them know that God wishes to have a relationship with them.
The challenge to change (or not) may come later on when one understands that grace is what saves us, not our own acts of penitence.
May the Church be a place of welcome for all oppressed people. Just as they are.
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to see others as you see us. Help us to welcome all. Amen.