Monday 14th September

September 14th


Safe in the shadow of the Lord    Timothy Dudley-Smith (b.1926) Norman Warren (b.1934) 

The Orchestra, Choir and congregation of All Souls Langham Place London


Psalm 91

1 You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
   who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
2 will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress;
   my God, in whom I trust.’
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
   and from the deadly pestilence;
4 he will cover you with his pinions,
   and under his wings you will find refuge;
   his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
   or the arrow that flies by day,
6 or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
   or the destruction that wastes at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
   ten thousand at your right hand,
   but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes
   and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
   the Most High your dwelling-place,
10 no evil shall befall you,
   no scourge come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
   so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder,
   the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

14 Those who love me, I will deliver;
   I will protect those who know my name.
15 When they call to me, I will answer them;
   I will be with them in trouble,
   I will rescue them and honour them.
16 With long life I will satisfy them,
   and show them my salvation.


Reflection     Lucy Winkett        Rector of St James’ Church, Piccadilly (and Radio 4)

you will not fear…(v5)

    This is one of the most rich and beautiful poems in scripture. We are encouraged to trust ever more deeply in God, to the degree that we will be gently put back on our feet when we stumble over a rock (v12). The wings of God guard us and it is under those wings that we live, with the unalterably gentle image of feathers, peaceful in themselves but deceptively strong against the wind and the rain of the world (v4).

    But it is the teaching point hidden in v6 that might strike a chord with contemporary life. The desert fathers and mothers of the fourth century meditated on the ‘the sickness that wastes at noonday’ and called it akedia, or spiritual listlessness. This deep sense of futility, they suggested, strikes not in the dark night of despair but at noon when the sun is high, when we are active and busy, getting on with things. Our busy-ness can become distraction from our deeper purposes, and our spirits become depressed, submerged under the bustle and preoccupations of our days.

    We often concentrate on the tragedies of our lives when looking for explanations for our struggles in our spiritual lives, but this psalm teaches us that one of the most dangerous moments of our journey is when the sun is high and we are in the noonday of our lives – brightly lit, working hard, nowhere to hide.



Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy

and, as you have bound us to yourself in love,

leave us not who call upon your name,

but grant us your salvation,

made known in the cross of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation    Joachim Neander (1650-1680) 

Westminister Abbey – 60th anniversary of the coronation




  • Do you ever get halfway through eating a horse and think, 'I wasn't that hungry'?
  • Went to the new Indian. Ordered their special, Pelican Madras. The bill was huge!
  • Nothing embarrasses a psychic more than throwing them a surprise party.
  • My friend keeps saying, "It could be worse, you could be stuck in the ground in a hole full of water." I know he means well.
  • I hear proof reading is being abolished…is nothing scared?
  • My friend thinks he's a chocolate orange. I'm worried he's going to be sectioned!

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