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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: I want to hang onto this psalm

Vieraskieliset / In-english
4.10.2022 12.30

Juttua muokattu:

4.10. 12:36

Text: Vau­la Es­ke­li

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

We have been li­ving in un­cer­tain­ty for months, cons­tant­ly awa­re of the glo­bal si­tu­a­ti­on. News of the hor­rors of war may have kept us awa­ke at bed­ti­me. Many pe­op­le wor­ry about the se­cu­ri­ty of their own li­ves in the midst of this tur­moil.

Count­less pe­op­le have felt com­pas­si­on when they have le­arnt about the re­a­li­ty of war and have pra­yed for those who are suf­fe­ring. Of­ten, when pra­ying, we feel unab­le to find sui­tab­le words. In one such si­tu­a­ti­on I he­ard so­me­o­ne read Da­vid’s psalm (Ps. 31). The re­a­der en­cou­ra­ged his lis­te­ners to look up this psalm and to read it. He said that many Uk­rai­ni­an pe­op­le read this psalm as a dai­ly pra­yer in their dif­fi­cult life si­tu­a­ti­on. I find this psalm per­so­nal­ly sig­ni­fi­cant and com­for­ting.

The Book of Psalms was ori­gi­nal­ly a col­lec­ti­on of po­ems and songs. Ba­sed on their con­tent, the psalms are di­vi­ded in­to hymns and psalms of inst­ruc­ti­on, con­so­la­ti­on, gra­ti­tu­de, pra­yer and la­men­ta­ti­on. They co­ver the en­ti­re hu­man life span and all its fe­ars, shame, re­mor­se, sor­rows and joys. They help us com­mu­ni­ca­te even in si­tu­a­ti­ons where we lack words. Many of our fa­mi­li­ar hymns are ba­sed on psalms.

Psalm 31 spe­aks about se­cu­ri­ty, which is the so­lid foun­da­ti­on of all things. We re­mem­ber the mot­to of the 2021 Sum­mer Ser­vi­ces: ”In you, Lord, I have ta­ken re­fu­ge”. Alt­hough we could not meet in per­son, the on­li­ne ser­vi­ces proc­lai­med the mes­sa­ge that is a re­li­ab­le re­fu­ge and sup­port at all ti­mes. We tend to gra­du­al­ly for­get the mot­tos of Sum­mer Ser­vi­ces, but it seems this mot­to has re­mai­ned a cons­tant pra­yer for many of us.

The con­tent of psalm 31 seems es­pe­ci­al­ly touc­hing at ti­mes when it is per­ti­nent to our own life si­tu­a­ti­on. The most pro­found me­a­ning of this psalm co­mes up in the first few ver­ses, which ref­lect the wri­ter’s trust in God, while he is al­so pra­ying for help in a dif­fi­cult life si­tu­a­ti­on:

”In you, O Lord, do I take re­fu­ge; let me ne­ver be put to shame; in yo­ur righ­te­ous­ness de­li­ver me! Inc­li­ne yo­ur ear to me; res­cue me spee­di­ly! Be a rock of re­fu­ge for me, a strong fort­ress to save me!” (Ps. 31:2–3.)

This thought-pro­vo­king pra­yer, Da­vid’s psalm, em­bo­dies the en­cou­ra­ging mes­sa­ge of the Book of Psalms. They sup­port and com­fort us in faith.

While I was re­a­ding this psalm, I re­mem­be­red cle­ar­ly the words of the Sum­mer Ser­vi­ce mot­to. The psalm desc­ri­bes the role of hu­man beings in the world. Life is al­ter­na­te­ly light and dark, oc­ca­si­o­nal­ly down­right op­p­res­si­ve. In the midst of in­se­cu­ri­ty and an­xie­ty we need not rely on our own strength, but we can rely on God.

In our Church Ca­len­dar, psalm 31 is a text for Shrove Sun­day, which is fol­lo­wed by Lent, the time le­a­ding to Je­sus’s de­ath on the cross. Through His own suf­fe­ring, the Sa­vi­or has shown us the re­fu­ge that will stand even when eve­ryt­hing el­se around it crumb­les.

”You take me out of the net they have hid­den for me, for you are my re­fu­ge. In­to yo­ur hand I com­mit my spi­rit; you have re­dee­med me, O Lord, faith­ful God. I hate those who pay re­gard to worth­less idols, but I trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 31:4–6.)


Minä luotan sinun armoosi, saan iloita sinun avustasi. Ps. 13:6

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