High River United Church of High River, Alberta

Turtling: A Message to Connect - May 27

Grace & Peace to You!

Susan’ Reflections on Psalms 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold and refuge of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (vs.1)


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I’ve been thinking these last few days that I’d like to be a turtle. I’d like to have a hard shell into which to retreat, in order to protect my soft heart and my vulnerable body. I could go out into the world and then when I didn’t feel safe, I could tuck in and rest for awhile until I had the energy to engage life as we know it right now. A turtle, that’s what I’d like to be.


But since that isn’t going to happen, this psalm offers me another alternative, a better alternative. God is my refuge, of whom shall I be afraid? When pondering what the days ahead may hold, it can feel overwhelming because there are still so many unknowns. When watching small steps begin toward opening up businesses, my alarm system can start moving into overdrive. So, if I can’t be a turtle, and pull into my shell, what I can do is find refuge in God. I can pause and breathe and pray. I can give myself permission to go slow, to retreat to the safety of my home, to light a candle, and to sit quietly. I can find my refuge in God’s presence, in which I live and move and have my being.


The psalmist goes on to say, “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 inquire in God’s temple.”   These words remind me of our longing to gather together in our building to worship, sing, and share soup, birthday cake or a simple supper.


Often we, as a congregation, have found our refuge in God by finding refuge in each other. That’s what makes this time so odd. Our natural tendency is to come together in order to care for one another. Now, we have to stay apart to care for one another. Yet there is still a feeling that we have a refuge in one another, a refuge we have created together, a refuge of God that we offer to one another.


So, if I can’t be a turtle, then I rejoice that I have this congregation, this community of faith, which provides me refuge and care, which is the light and strength of God for me. The church community is my turtle and God is my strength; of what shall I be afraid?


May you know God’s sheltering wings enfolding you. May you feel the love and care of this congregation reaching out to you. You are not alone.


With love and blessings,


Rev. Susan & Rev. David


High River United Church – a community of help, home & hope


“Just to be is a blessing; just to live is holy.” A. Heschel




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