The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. – Psalm 46:11 (NRSV)
My child is at an age where they love to categorize things in order of favorites. What’s your favorite color/song/artist/pair of shoes, etc. they ask. A lot. And I don’t think of things this way anymore, so that’s rough on me to answer. But one day, they asked a question I was ready to answer!
“What’s your favorite word in the Bible?”
And this one was easy. It’s: Selah.
Selah is a curious, beautiful word that we find throughout the Psalms. It’s somewhat challenging to pinpoint a very clear definition of this word, Selah. But here’s where I’ve landed:
Selah is a liturgical instruction. You see, the Psalms were read in community, again and again, to do what the Lord commanded: write these instructions on my heart. The Psalms write some instructions on our hearts. They give us a map for where to go. They give us language for worship that we can hear and say, on repeat, in the sanctuary, to take home and remember when we need them.
And whenever the Psalm instructed: Selah? That meant, take a moment. Take a moment to give praise to the One who makes all things possible. Take a moment to remember God and to lift your head to the skies. Take a moment because you can’t do this on your own, nor do you have to. Take a moment because our God will not leave or forsake you. Selah. Your God deserves this time. Selah. You need this time. Selah. God is your refuge and strength. Selah. God is your help. Selah.
Let this moment of devotion inspire a moment for or to: Selah.
Take your praise break. Give glory to God. Selah throughout the day and watch your spirit: rise. Selah.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.