Psalm 121:1-2

Sunday, March 5
Gwen Gotsch

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

Sometimes – often, in fact – I wonder about who or what God is. I look up from what I’m reading on my book or laptop and stare into the empty space over the couch and ask — what? What do I see? What is the reality behind the stained-glass language I’ve heard all my life?

When, like the psalmist, I look to the mountains, I sense the vastness of time and space, the geologic forces that wrenched the peaks into place, the ancient melting glaciers and the eons of time that carved riverbeds and canyons. When I look deeper, I see the horizon where the curve of the earth drops away, always beyond my reach.

What does this grandeur have to do with me, a poor, confused creature sitting indoors on a winter morning? Pillows on the couch, books on the shelf, warm socks, the thoughts in my head – they’re all temporary, short-lived, as am I. Yet I am connected to the majesty of the mountains, the mystery of empty air and hazy horizons. The same God who caused those things to be also made me — and made me able to know this.

I look to Jesus to show the way to seek and find the help of the God who made heaven and earth. Jesus addressed God as “Abba, Father,” not an authoritarian patriarchal figure, but a close and caring parent. In God’s name, Jesus brought healing to the sick and cared for the poor and powerless. In obedience to God’s will, Jesus did not reject the way of the cross, but suffered, died and rose again to bring new life to his followers.

It is an example I draw on whenever I take a deep and grounding breath, when I need to calm my thoughts or find patience and grace, when I feel shame or worry about messing up, when I grieve over sad news in the wide world or death and illness among friends and family. The light that dawns over the oceans, that sets behind the mountain is also the light of Christ, living in me, and in you, too.

God, creator of this world and of the universe beyond, help me to know both your wonder and your closeness and, following Jesus’ example, to reflect your light and truth to everyone I encounter. Amen.

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