A Season of Transition, a Season of Prayer — Please join us each day at 11:30 a.m. in offering a personal but collective prayer for our congregation. Today’s focus for prayer is: Jesus cleansed the temple. Help us see today what needs to be cleaned out of our lives.
Scripture: Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills —
from where will my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and for evermore.
Reflection: This beautiful psalm is often read at funerals and gravesides. When we are down in the valley of despair, we lift our eyes to the hills. With the grieving we affirm that our help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. As we walk this Holy Week alongside Jesus and his disciples, I wonder if he or they drew upon this psalm themselves that last week. They would have known it, probably by heart.
I wonder if Jesus heard the words of assurance in his head and heart as he was arrested and beaten: “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” I wonder if he recited any of the hopeful words of promise on the cross in the heat of that last day: “The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.”
I wonder if the disciples remembered the psalm’s words as their teacher, friend, and Lord died, and they faced their grief: “The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and for evermore.”
We read the psalm today from the vantage point of the Easter resurrection. It is that same Easter hope that we recall when we read the psalm today for our loved ones who have died. Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Lord, I lift up my eyes to the hills. My help comes from you. Help me trust that you hold my life and the lives of all your children, forever. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].