Tuesday 15th September

September 15th


True Colours         Camden Voices self-isolation / virtual choir (2020)



Psalm 86

1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all day long.
4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication.
7 In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me.

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord,
   and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth;
   give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
   and I will glorify your name for ever.
13 For great is your steadfast love towards me;

    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life,
   and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
   slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant;
   save the child of your serving-maid.
17 Show me a sign of your favour,

   so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame,
   because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.



This psalm of lament gives space for darkness, loss and distress, which reflects the mood of our times. It gives us an opportunity to hear laments of our neighbours

(v1) the poor and needy

(v7) those living through troubles

(v14) those suffering from violence

The psalm community has been here many times before us, and will always return to share with us grounds for quiet hope in our darkness. (v13) ‘for great is your steadfast love’.

This psalm reminds us of the compassionate character of God (15) ‘you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness’.

The bible often voices our desire to be sharing in the life of God. This translation says (v11) ‘give me an undivided heart to revere your name’, other translations are more poetical, ‘knit my heart to you’ (Common Worship Daily Prayer). In the darkness God’s love is eliciting love from the psalmist and from us. Love calls love in our and the world’s distress.

(v8-13) are hopeful verses. However the psalms last four verses are bleak. The psalm ends in a desperate call for a sign of God’s love (v17). Any hint of love will do. There is a realism to praying the psalms. There is a gap between faith as concept and faith as lived reality.

Distress hangs around. Light is on the far horizon. In the meanwhile…’ give your strength to your servant’ (v16). We are learning to be constant in light and through the darkness.


Collect from Common Worship Daily Prayer

God of mercy,

who in your great love

drew your Son from the depth of the Pit,

bring your people from death to life,

that we may rejoice in your compassion

and praise you know and for ever. Amen.



God of mercy    Lou Fellingham from her ‘Treasure’ album (2011)




A one-liner

'I just bought a couple of tickets to watch a sports game at Hogwarts.' ''How much did they cost?'' 'A quid each.'

Printer Printable Version