Online Sunday Service:
God our Refuge

Good morning, friends.

Today we will be exploring the theme of God our refuge, and what this might mean during this confusing and tumultuous time. So to begin the morning let’s use the reading of Psalm 46 as a guided opening prayer. The following is a recorded reading of this Psalm and a guided quietening time of opening prayer

Opening psalm and prayer
00:00 / 04:20

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 

though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging. 

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells. 

God is within her, she will not fall;

God will help her at break of day. 

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;

You lift Your voice, the earth melts. 

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 

Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations brought on the earth. 

You, Lord, make wars cease to the ends of the earth.

You break the bow and shatter the spear;

You burn the shields with fire. 

You say, “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Listen to the following song by Brian Doerksen, called Ever so gently:

Ever So GentlyBrian Doerksen
00:00 / 05:50

Lyrics - Ever so gently

Ever so gently,

Your Spirit calls to all who hear; 

Ever so gently,

the sound of Your voice, quiet yet clear.   

 

Day and night, to the ends of the earth, 

The skies pour forth speech. 

There's no place your voice isn't heard,   

 Your patience astounds me.

 

Your voice is the sweetest of sounds

It's the purest of life giving rain

Your voice is the calm in the storm

It's the whisper of love that remains

 

Ever so gently,

I hear your voice pulling me near. 

Ever so gently,

your word of life stronger than fear. 

 

If I turn away from your heart, 

Try to hide in my shame, 

You speak truth in love's patient way,       

Your gentleness breaks me.

Your voice is the sweetest of sounds

It's the purest of life giving rain

Your voice is the calm in the storm

It's the whisper of love that remains.

For further reflection:

Below are some of the quotes from the talk, and some additional quotes, for you to reflect on further:

Hebrews 12:26-29

"At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”"

Ramana Maharshi:

Let what comes come. Let what goes go. Find out what remains.

2 Corinthians 4:18:

For our light and momentary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that is far beyond comparison.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalms 62:1-2, 5-8:  

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. …

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;

my hope comes from him.

 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God ;

he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, you people;

pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Beatrice Bruteau:

When Jesus as teacher, as disciple-maker, desires that everyone should be like himself, … it means that he wants us to experience his freedom, his interior freedom from all of these inhibitions and fears and cravings and clutchings. He wants us to enjoy his self-realization, his union with the Source of Being, whom he calls Father. It's his own interior experience that he wants to share.

Isaiah 26:3:

You will keep in perfect peace (shalom shalom) the one whose mind is stabilized in you.

Ending Prayer (based on extracts from Nan Merrill's Psalms for Praying):

For You alone my soul waits in silence; 

my hope is from the Beloved. 

Enfolding me with strength and steadfast love, 

my faith shall remain firm.  

In the Silence rests my freedom and my guidance; 

You are the Heart of my heart,

my refuge is in the Silence.   

 

For You alone my soul waits in silence; 

from the Beloved comes my life. 

In the Silence rests my freedom and my guidance; 

You hold me in the spacious and tender embrace of your heart,

my most secure identity is found in this abandon to you.

Amen

As an ending song, listen to the following short song by Michael English, called God is our Refuge:

God is our RefugeMichael English
00:00 / 03:47

Lyrics - God is our Refuge

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever present help in trouble.
Therefore we do not fear,
though the earth give way,
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea;
though it's waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams

make glad the city of God,
the holy place
where the Most High dwells.

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