Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
The Lord reigns; He is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, He is girded with strength. Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved; Thy throne is established from old; Thou art from everlasting. Psalm 93:1-2
For those who have ever attended a vespers service on a Saturday evening, Psalm 93 is chanted towards the end of the service. Verse one is also prayed at the Proskomide (preparation of the Holy Gifts) at each Divine Liturgy by the priest.
Psalm 93 is only five verses long. It is a statement about the majesty of God and His rule. Think for a moment of a pep rally when you were in high school or college. Neither my high school or college had a great football team, but when we rallied for either, there were always statements of “We’re number one” even though we were usually dead last in our league.
Psalm 93 is almost like the same, but it refers to God. He’s number one, and that is not based on rankings in a sports league. His majesty will also never be challenged or beat by another. It is the Lord Who reigns over all the earth. He is robed, not in a uniform, or even a dazzling outfit, but in majesty itself. The sun, the clouds, the mountains and the water—all of these were created by the Lord, they reflect His majesty. The Lord is girded with strength—Yes, He created the strength of the waves, the waterfalls, the rushing rivers, and the winds. But He is also the author of other strengths—Love, truth, beauty, creativity, etc.
As we read over this first verse of Psalm 93, let’s see how it applies to each of our lives. If the Lord reigns over everything, does He reign over our lives? In this case, we are not describing the reign of a cruel dictator but of a benevolent King. We know that God is a benevolent ruler, so when we serve Him, it is not as if we bow in fear in the presence of cruelty. Rather we bow with awe in the presence of His love. If the Lord reigns our lives, are we bowing with awe, respect and obedience as His servants. Or do we reign our own lives? Because by definition, there can only be one “number one” who is in charge of something. In our lives, it’s either God or it isn’t. Who is your number one? Who reigns your life?
The Lord is robed in majesty. Like the king who wears an exquisite robe, and jewel-encrusted crown, our Lord wears the apparel of everything that is beautiful in the world. This is a reminder that we are also to be robed in His majesty. Today, we will all get dressed before we leave home to take on the world. As we put on the outfit that everyone will see, what will we gird ourselves with on the inside? Will we leave home with love or with anger as we go to take on the world? Confidence? Optimism? Pessimism? Like the Lord, we should “robe” ourselves in majesty—in love, truth, and optimism.
The Lord is girded with strength. What are the strengths with which we gird ourselves? Anger? Or kindness? Patience or impatience? Faith or control? Because every morning when we get out of our beds or walk out of our homes, we gird ourselves with something that tends to dominate who we are on a particular day. As you get up and get going today, what are you girded with?
Ideally the Lord reigns over our lives, we are robed in His majesty and girded with His strength. In Ephesians 6, St. Paul tells us to:
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. (Ephesians 6:10
Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (6:11)
Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the Gospel of peace. (6:14-15)
Take the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. (6:16)
Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (6:17)
St. Paul tells us to take up the armor and weapons of a soldier as we go into battle. Indeed, the world is like a battlefield. And we are all soldiers of Christ. So let us go ready and prepared for the fight for truth!
The Lord reigns; He is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, He is girded with strength. Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved; Thy throne is established from of old; Thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice, the floods lift up their roaring. Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty! Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits Thy house, O Lord, forevermore. Psalm 93
Let the Lord reign over your life today, reflect the majesty of God in what you do, and gird yourself with the Lord, so that you may be strong in faith in all you do today!