Weekly Devotions May 18-22

Friday Devotion With Angela Peabody

Our very own Angela Peabody was featured in the current issue of The Upper Room daily devotional.  The Upper Room has given us permission to reprint her devotion (see copyright notice at the conclusion of this email).  Congratulations Angela, and thank you for sharing your faith story with so many!

If you would like a print copy of The Upper Room,we have them available at no cost in the shopping cart outside the church entrance each day (you don't need to donate food to take one).  We have only a limited number left, so they are available on a first-come basis.

The Upper Room material is reprinted from The Upper Room magazine, copyright (year) by The Upper Room, Inc., P.O. Box 340004, Nashville, TN 37203-0004, www.upperroom.org, and is used by permission of the publisher.

Thursday Devotion with Pastor Will

Wednesday Devotion With Rev. Sarah Calvert

Monday Devotion with Kitty Stapleton

My Help Comes from the Lord

Psalm 121 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help!
2 My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

In my mind, the word “hills” in this verse has always meant “mountains” because I have always loved mountains. Perhaps it was because my earliest memories as a child were living in the mountains of Virginia outside of Charlottesville. Maybe it was because my parents always liked the mountains. Whatever the reason for my love of mountains, this love extended to my love of Psalm 121.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I have always thought that the first line meant that “my help” came from the top of the mountain! Recently, I read a different translation which gave me a different perspective.

Psalm 121 English Standard Version (ESV)
1I lift up my eyes to the hills.From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Actually, I knew that God wasn’t sitting on the mountain top the way “Zeus sat on Mt. Olympus” but somehow the idea of a mountain-top was special to me.Apparently, over the ages, many other people have had a special affinity for mountains. Perhaps that’s why the Greeks thought that their gods lived on Mt Olympus. In addition, we find many references to mountains in the Bible.

Psalms 87:1- His foundation is in the holy mountains.

Isaiah 2:2 - In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.

Matthew 14:23 - After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.

So, what is it about mountains that draw people to them, to hold them as special or even sacred? We can begin by acknowledging that mountains do have a majesty about them—whether the beautiful mountains of Virginia, the lush tropical mountains of Hawaii, the brown mountains of coastal California, the towering mountains of Colorado, or the brown, rock-strewn mountains of the Holy Land. Maybe it’s because they “reach” to the sky, to the heavens. Perhaps we are in awe of their massiveness. Could it be that mountains are usually less inhabited by people and therefore they give a solitude that isn’t found in less mountainous regions?

I have a different thought—looking at mountains makes us look up. Look up and see the world around us. While it’s important to look down when we’re walking, sometimes we need to look up and see what’s around us. We need to see the poor, the homeless, the sick, the lonely, and the marginalized. Who needs our help? Who needs our comfort? What can we do to serve God’s children?

In this time of the COVID-19 crisis, we spend a lot of time looking downward in stress and depression at the sickness and death of the victims of Covid-19; at job and health insurance loss; at the loss of social gatherings and the touch of family and friends.

We know that God isn’t up on a mountain—we know that God is with us. However, looking up to the hills, the mountains, or the sky is a way to remind us that God IS with us. Let’s remind ourselves to “lift our eyes to the hills” and find our help in the Lord!

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