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    10:30 am Worship

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    Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022

    Psalm 121

    1 I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?
    2 My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
    3 He will not let your foot be moved and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.
    4 Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep;
    5 The Lord himself watches over you; the Lord is your shade at your right hand,
    6 So that the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
    7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; it is he who shall keep you safe.
    8 The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in,
    from this time forth for evermore.

    In modern Israel, those who travel from the Sea of Galilee to Jerusalem may follow the old route, following the Jordan River to the Dead Sea, through Jericho, and then turning sharply and traveling up into the mountains. The journey differs radically from the time of Jesus, but one can imagine. An old road out of Jericho leads to an old Roman aqueduct, looking out into a deep and narrow valley. Bedouin camps still dot the area.  They live in tents of camel skin, and the Bedouin shepherds guide their flocks through the rocks and over the cliffs searching out grass and water. It’s a lonely life and dangerous. At one point, the road narrows, with rocks rearing up on each side, and one can almost see a traveler beset by bandits and left for dead, only to be saved by his enemy, the Samaritan. In other places one spies mountain caves where Jewish rebels hid from their enemies, and we can imagine David, fleeing for his life and praying there, alone, in the wilderness.

    Most of the distance from Jericho to Jerusalem remains wilderness, much as it was. The journey is up, always up, for Jerusalem and Mount Zion lie in the center of a range of mountains. One travels from the lowest place on earth to a city high in the mountains.  That’s why we say we travel up to Jerusalem.

    I lift up my eyes – from where will my help come?

    If one got in trouble in ancient times, there was only one place to look for security. You looked to the hills, to the sacred place, to the place that represented God.

    We live in far different times. Life moves faster, and we find ourselves tempted to look in the wrong places for security. We may be tempted to place our security in the stock market. Some seek security in themselves. If I can develop these seven habits, if I can take this particular course, I will be secure. We might look to insurance, to mighty armies, to political dreamers, to hospitals and doctors. If only I have these, I will be secure.

    If we’ve learned nothing else in recent economic and political storms, we should have learned such things secure nothing.

    I talked to my next-door neighbor in Florida this morning. He rode out the storm in his home, which is lifted on pillars six feet off the ground. No matter. The pillars did not secure his living space. He sat there, awash in several feet of water and watched Ian submerge my little place next door. Now, he finds himself trapped. No car. No power. No water. No way out except with a FEMA crew that will take him to a shelter. His bank is gone. His home is gone.

    “It’s all gone,” he said with a note of despair in his voice. “A community of 1,000 homes, and they may have no option but to bulldoze it all.”

    And for him? No option but one.

    Look up.

    When will we learn? Only God secures our lives. We live in an age when we need to learn that anew.

     

    Hymn of the day: I Will Lift My Eyes. On Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te0hy2YcLgg or click media link on rossfordumc.org.

     

     

     

    Rev. Lawrence Keeler