Advent Psalm Reflection: Psalm 27—Embracing Divine Sanctuary (Pt. 3 of 3)

Advent Psalm reading for December 11, 12, & 13: Psalm 27.

In the first installment, I reflect on the entire Psalm 27 reading. In part two, I looked at similar themes of strength in divine presence in Isaiah 26. In this final installment reflecting on Advent Psalm 27, I want to consider the psalm alongside Malachi 2, which also deals with themes of divine justice and the search for peace amidst turmoil.

The Cry for Justice in a Turbulent World

In Malachi 2, the prophet describes a world where injustice seems to prevail, and righteousness is nowhere to be found. This is a perspective many of us can relate to in our world today. How can there be justice in a world where children are first left orphans and refugees and then killed and dismissed as casualties of war. As the prophet cries out in Malachi 2:17, we might ask, “Where is the God of justice?”

The situation in Malachi is devastating to the prophet, who notices malicious deceit, abuse in marriage, and theft in his community. Where is righteousness? The text here invokes a very different view of divine presence than that which we read about in Psalm 27 and Isaiah 26, where God’s presence is known and felt. In Malachi, we are faced with a community that desperately needs God’s divine justice to set things right.

Faith Amidst Despair: Finding Strength and Advocacy

The liturgical readings that accompany Psalm 27 for the Advent present a complex interplay of divine presence, justice, and the human longing for righteousness. The striking contrast between the assurance and faith expressed in Psalm 27 and the profound sense of injustice and absence of righteousness in Malachi 2 mirrors our own contemporary struggles.

Psalm 27 displays a confident declaration of God as light and stronghold, a refuge in times of trouble. At the same time, Malachi’s cry of injustice that reveals the absence of God may more deeply resonate with feelings of despair and confusion in the face of injustice and suffering in our world. These scriptures do contradict, but instead, reflect the multifaceted nature of faith. There is no better time than now, in anticipation of the coming Messiah, to grapple with the duality of trust in God’s presence and faithfulness as the psalmist and actively seek the manifestation of divine justice in our world.

May we find the strength to be agents of change in a world that often seems ruled by injustice. May we be inspired by the psalmist to have faith in the strength of divine presence and, at the same time answer the call for righteousness echoed by the prophet Malachi to become advocates for peace.

Coming Up on An Advent Psalm Reflection

Tomorrow’s reading introduces a new Advent Psalm for reflection.

This entire series and a link to the liturgical readings on the Advent Psalm Reflections page.

*The translations are JPS from

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