Wednesday 26 June

Today is Wednesday, 26 June, in the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo sing: ‘O my heart be wise when your enemies surround you.  Keep praying; ask the Lord for help.  For he is powerful.  That is your weapon; do not lose it.  Pray without ceasing, for the Lord is powerful.’

Today’s reading is from the Book of Genesis.

God is full of wonderful promises about Abram’s future  – especially a future that includes children and land. And God reminds Abram that he has already done wonderful things for him in the past, but although there are these assurances about both the past and the future, Abram is very afraid. He goes to sleep, and “a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him.” Such wonderful promises and such deep fear.  Reflect for a moment on how that might have felt.

When I think about how my own life has unfolded, in what situations have I felt deep fear, terror even? In what kinds of challenges did darkness descend upon me?

There may be something going on in your life now, some challenge that is making you afraid, that makes you feel a little like Abram about to take possessed of the promised land. As you listen again to the exchange between an Abram who is afraid and a God who promises, let yourself be touched especially by these words right at the beginning. They are words of assurance about the present: “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield.”

God as your shield? What kind of image surfaces for you when you hear that word “shield”? Can you give the shield image size … shape … texture … colour? As you imagine this shield around you, let God know about your fear. Try to hear him respond to you, as he responded to Abram: “Do not be afraid, for I am your shield.”