Fools say in their hearts, There’s no God.
They are corrupt and do horrible deeds;
not one of them does anything good.
2 God looks down from heaven on humans
to see if anyone is wise,
to see if anyone seeks God.
3 But all have turned away.
Everyone is corrupt.
No one does good—
not even one person!
It was the pink parka that caught my attention, that flash of color that didn’t quite belong. I see them in every refugee photo. The children, dressed in their brightly colored clothing, they stand out against the dark background of war’s destruction, at border crossings behind fences. Their faces and their clothes are stained from tears, travel and hardship. They are carried in the arms of fleeing parents or are being led by the hand. They are fleeing war, famine, and persecution. In their faces, we see the effects of the sins of war and hatred and our own disregard for their lives as they try to flee to a safer but foreign place.
David, the writer of Psalm 53, knew war and fled persecution. He understood the struggle to remain faithful during times of trial in a world that denied God and did “corrupt and horrible deeds.” He imagined what God would see, “look[ing] down from heaven on humans,” who saw that, “No one does good-not even one person.” David knew that a life not devoted to loving God would result in evil and corruption. David trusted that God would hear his prayers to deliver Israel from such “corrupt, evil fools.”
As children of God, these situations seem overwhelming and unsolvable. How do we respond? We aren’t helpless, we are called to follow Jesus, empowered by the Spirit to rise up to pray and work for justice and peace, to be the hands and feet of God in the midst of conflict and violence.
The one thing we don’t do, is fall into despair and inaction, because God is with us. God is our hope and our refuge. God sent Jesus to redeem us from sin and show us there is more to life, and that when we follow Jesus we will live an abundant life. We trust God and we persevere in impossible situations because God has called us and equipped us to be with those who suffer, and to share God’s love.
We serve God who loves us and has defeated death and called us into new life for the transformation of the world. When “God looks down from heaven,” let’s not be seen in despair or inactive. Let’s be seen following Jesus, acting as the loving hands and feet that pray, serve and work for peace and justice. Let our lives bear witness to the abundant life found in Christ.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
How do you persevere and trust God in the face of extraordinary challenges? Are you experiencing the abundant life in Christ that comes from sharing God’s love with others? How can you serve God today?
Prayer: Loving God, you are our refuge and we trust in you. Help us to be your hands and feet as we serve others, following the example of Jesus, and let our lives bear witness to the abundant life found in Christ. Amen.