Pastor Dan
MOUNT ZION
LUTHERAN CHURCH
July 2017

We’ve been in a stretch of some holy heat and the Tucson weather person is informing us that it’s only going to get hotter. As I journey from car to building, or building to building, I am continually amazed at how powerful the sun’s heat is. As the heat seems to physically assault me, I am reminded of verses 5-6 of Psalm 121:

 

“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 veracity of the sun striking my nose and cheeks within seconds of stepping outside causes me to think, “Lord, the sun is striking me by the day and it’s striking in a very unpleasant manner!!” Then I think, “What a wimp!” I have to pray for those who have no shelter and are living on the streets. I think about the time period in which the psalm was written. A psalm written for those who are on a journey. Think of those returning from the Babylonian captivity to Jerusalem. When they leave, it’s a tolerable 85 – 90 degree day. In the midst of a few days into the journey it’s now 110+. How are you to survive? Where do you go to get out of the killer heat? Will the heat take our life, or will we survive the striking of the sun? From where will our help come? From where is any hope to visit us? At this point in the journey, there is only one place assurance and hope come and that is from the Lord.

Psalm 121, next to Psalm 23, is probably the next most well-known of the Psalms. Over the centuries and generations, we have come to understand this Psalm as one which encourages our journey throughout life. For life is a journey. The day and the night come and go, the mountain is ever before us, we are in constant flux and transitioning. We do not remain unchanged, but are constantly changing and transforming. And throughout this journey, there are most definitely times that we discover ourselves in the heat of things. We find ourselves in the striking sun of health concerns, or relationship concerns or income concerns. The heat is so intense, we are certain that we will be consumed in this wilderness and pass away to be a part of the hot desert dust. In this certainty, we hear verses 7-8 from Psalm 121:

 

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.

 

Two words from these verses seem to jump off the page and touch our hearts and souls. The first word is “keep”. To be kept by the Lord is something that words cannot describe in regard to knowing peace in our journeying through this life. The second word is “forever.” Whatever season we may find ourselves to be in the journey of a life in faith, we know that the season or situation is temporary. The one thing that the sun cannot strike from our very being is the fact that we are the Lord’s forever. This isn’t because we live perfect lives of duty, sacrifice and service without error, but is because the Lord has called us and knows us. The Lord is keeping us and loves us as we journey with His shadow and His shade from this time on and forever more.

 

In Christ’s love and service, Pastor Dan

 

Contact Pastor Dan at: psyeyeon@aol.com