The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
they shall stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.
One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.
This is the confession of a person in distress, trusting and waiting on God for deliverance. The person seeks sanctuary in God’s presence identified in the passage as “the house of the Lord,” “his temple,” “his shelter,” and “his tent.” There, the person finds safety, security and protection in the day of trouble.
Refugees and immigrants often feel like they are being chased–as if an enemy army is encamped against them seeking to devour them. And yet, there are few places where they are truly safe and secure. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents describe schools, healthcare facilities and houses of worship as “sensitive places”–meaning that there is a potential for public outcry if they should enter those spaces to detain or arrest immigrants. As a result, immigrants often feel safer inside these facilities.
Questions for Reflection
How do you think your church would react to the suggestion that your building/facility become a “hiding place” for undocumented immigrants?
During WW II, Corrie Ten Boom’s family risked their lives to hide Jews in their home to protect them from arrest by the Gestapo–a literal army seeking to devour their flesh. (Corrie wrote a book called, “The Hiding Place.”) Could you do that for Muslims? Undocumented immigrants? What objections do you feel rising within you? How do you answer those objections?