As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time on and forevermore. (Psalm 125:2, NRSV)
Growing up in Michigan didn’t give me much of an opportunity to encounter mountains. Living in Nebraska hasn’t afforded me the chance to see them either – although the fact that I’ve never driven west of Kearney probably has more to do with that than this great state’s topography. I did, however, spend one year in Allegany County, Maryland, in the foothills of the Allegany Mountains, and I can tell you that the experience of living in that area made a profound impact on me. I learned what it actually feels like to have to “lift my eyes to the hills”. I learned that the mountains can be treacherous under the wrong conditions. But I also learned that the stability and rootedness of the mountains can bring indescribable calm and peace. If that’s true of rocks and earth, how much more calm and peace is offered to us by the depth and height of God’s love for you and me and this whole world? The Lord surrounds you today and always, and that is a breathtaking gift to ponder.
Stir up our hearts, Lord God, and come. As the winds of chance and change blow around us, remind us always that our sure foundation and everlasting hope is your love revealed in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
– Pastor Andrew Chavanak, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church (20th and Towle)