Scripture: Psalm 121
Key verses: (1-2)
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.
Reflection: Have you been to Montreat? Just outside of Black Mountain, NC is Montreat Conference Center, one of the Presbyterian Church retreat centers. It’s a special place. I grew up traveling there from Florida with my youth group, and for family and peacemaking conferences with my home church. Long hours in a church van or family station wagon ended with a ride through the Montreat gate, and a deep sigh of relief and feeling of being home again. At Montreat I was encouraged to ask good questions about my faith. I learned to play games, stomp in the creek, worship in new ways. I grew in faith with my family, my youth group, and other church people. I learned to lift up my eyes to the hills, and see the presence of God there, and everywhere. Montreat has known me in a lot of different ages and stages: as a child, as a youth, as a seminary student, as a new pastor, as a new parent, as a church leader. God has known me in all those ways too. Somehow the two are linked in a beautiful way.
Maybe you have a place or location where you see or feel the presence of God more clearly. Today, give thanks for it. Give thanks for the people who have walked along with you in your life of faith over the years. Give thanks for the times you have lifted up your eyes and known that you are loved by God, just as you are.
Maybe you are looking for a place to do more of that. Consider joining us for our All-Church Retreat this fall in Montreat. You can read more about it here. We’d love to grow in faith with you there.
Prayer: Lord, I lift up my eyes to the hills, and find you there. You have been with me from my beginnings, and you are with me until the end. Thank you for places where I know that. Thank you for the people who have taught me that. Thank you for new places and people who keep reminding me of you. Maybe I can be that for someone else, by your grace. In the name of Christ, I pray. 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].