Psalm 121 (NRSV)
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
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.
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 forevermore.
Psalm 121 has been important in my life. For the past three summers I have been going to a sleep-away camp called Camp Illahee. The camp is in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. Each year I look forward to Illahee to connect with my friends and begin the best weeks of my year. The reason I love Illahee so much is I can take those weeks to reconnect with my faith and make memories that will last forever. Every Sunday at Illahee we have a short service at the woodland chapel. Each time I am there I notice the passage on the pulpit, Psalm 121. When I saw that one of the passages I had been assigned was this psalm, I immediately thought of camp. At camp I really notice how God has used his beauty in this world; Psalm 121 helps me see this.
Psalm 121 also relates to my grandfather. As many of you know he has been struggling with pancreatic cancer recently. Throughout the year we meet my grandparents in Montreat, North Carolina. Pop will always conclude our trip with Psalm 121; it helps me realize that God’s presence will not only stay in Montreat but wherever my family and I go. While Pop has been struggling with pancreatic cancer I believe this passage has helped him feel safe and to know that even if we aren’t right there by his side we are surrounding him with love every part of the journey.
Dear God, wherever we go, we ask for your presence. As we deal with stress and anxiety in this world, we ask for your presence. For the people in this world struggling to find homes and food, we ask for your presence in their lives. For all the other things in our lives going on right now, we ask for your presence, as this provides support and comfort when and where we need it. In your wonderful name we pray, Amen.