Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Barbara of Holy Redeemer, July 15, 2020

Devotion for Wednesday July 15, 2020

Photo by Griffin Wooldridgeon Unsplash

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.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore.
Psalm 121:1-2,7-8

Dear Church,
I took a risk. Last week, I had a window of opportunity to “bubble” with
my children and grandchildren, and I took a risk. It was wonderful to see
them, yet, when I came back, it was almost harder because I missed them even more, specially
when I consider just when it may be possible to see them again.

We have a new way of looking at time. BCV and ACV. Before Covid Vaccine and After Covid
Vaccine! BCV, do I stay at home to be safe and miss time with my family? Or, do I go out and
risk never spending time with them again? And then I think about how lucky I am to have the
choice to stay home and I think, “For shame!” AND the fact of the matter is, every time we leave
the house, for whatever reason, we may get the virus. It’s enough to make one lose hope….

So I turn to my faith. I turn to scripture. This beautiful psalm first came to my attention at the
end of the movie “The Sound of Music” when the Reverend Mother quotes it in their graveyard
hiding place. Psalm 121 was a comfort then, and in the time the psalm was written following the
Babylonian Exile, and in all of the life crises in the meantime. This, too, is a bad time in our
history, when so many things are out of our control. Our country is divided, besieged by a
pandemic, steeped in racism, even our whole planet is at risk.

“The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.” This
is not talking about fantasy. It does not say that God will protect us from viruses or other natural
disasters, it says that God will keep us….from this time on and forevermore. We will have hard
choices BCV and some of them will not go well. And we can trust that God will keep us, and our
loved ones.

In the midst of that trust in God we can protect ourselves and others, we can fight for inclusive
justice, we can give what we can to those in need, do our jobs, protect our environment, and
actively pursue a united country. We can look to the hills and remember our creator God, make
our choices and hold our families close in our hearts – and on Zoom, Duos, FaceTime, and
sometimes, as cautiously as possible, even in person. We trust that God is here with us – in

Be safe!
In Christ,

Pastor Barbara

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