Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Devotions: Hoots Mon! - Psalm 61

Psalm 60:4      I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. 

Things didn’t go according to plan at a wedding in Scotland yesterday. A tame owl had been specially trained to carry the wedding rings and land on a perch beside the outside altar. It was supposed to be a wonderfully synchronized event. However, the piper began playing just as the owl was signaled to fly. A scared lapwing shot out of the bushes and the owl chased its prey up into a tree. The lapwing escaped but the owl remained perched on a branch. The wedding rings were still attached to its legs!

As one of my Scottish friends wrote: what a hoot! Eventually the owl was coaxed down from the tree and the ceremony continued. If Robert Burns had been around, I guess he could have penned the immortal lines: “the best laid schemes of owls and pipers gang aft agley.”

When the psalmist wrote about taking refuge in the shelter of God’s wings, he wasn’t literally saying that God had wings. He was using a metaphor to describe his absolute confidence in God’s protection. In the midst of his personal troubles and crisis, he had the utmost faith in God’s guidance and deliverance. Even if all of the psalmist’s plans went haywire, he would be still be assured of God’s grace and love.

To me, this is what makes faith so important –it gives us a hope in God that He will not abandon us, and a love from God that can never be extinguished.

Prayer:                        Lord God, thank You for allowing us to take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Thank You for granting us unlimited grace and everlasting love. In the midst of our problems and worries, we constantly rely upon Your Presence and Guidance. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to

Today’s image is John’s drawing of Dunure Castle in the West of Scotland parish where he used to minister. You can view a larger version of the drawing at the following link:

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