May 2, 2023: A Mighty Fortress

Psalm 31: 1-5, 15-16

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.
You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.



As a student at Susquehanna University, I sang in the University Choir. Each spring break we would take a tour to mostly Lutheran churches up and down the east coast performing concerts. We would end each performance with Martin Luther’s timeless hymn A Mighty Fortress. Some students hypothesized that this finale was our conductor’s way of ensuring a standing ovation. Even if you’re unaware of the tradition of standing for the hymn, it’s hard not to be moved by Luther’s soaring melody and strong words:

A Mighty Fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing.
Our helper he amidst the flood,
Of mortal ills prevailing.

What an assuring idea. Our God is so strong that God never fails. Even when we feel like we’re drowning in life, God is our refuge.

Thanks be to God.

–Erin Hayes



Lord, thank you for being our refuge and our strength. Help us to trust in you.