...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Sunday, March 17, 2013

We can still join Jesus to Jerusalem

It's the Lord who makes the hilly journey with us
A beautiful pilgrimage song, Psalm 121, challenges us to know God as the One who never sleeps. When looking at our journey ahead, no matter how daunting the walk ahead through the hills looks, the source of our strength is in the Lord.

To pray "deliver us from evil," as Christians do in the Lord's Prayer, is similar to the assurance of protection in Psalm 121. It means that wherever the journey takes us, God, who creates and sustains us, will be with us. God is the One who keeps our life (spirit) wherever we are on the pilgrimage, now and always, sleeping or waking.

Wondering if Jesus used this Psalm during his final ascent into Jerusalem before his Passion, it might be an opportunity to catch up with Jesus on his journey these later days of Lent. Take a day, an hour, or even a few minutes! The Contemporary English Version (CEV) gives a fresh translation:
I look to the hills!
Where will I find help?
It will come from the Lord,
who created the heavens
and the earth.

The Lord is your protector,
and he won’t go to sleep
or let you stumble.
The protector of Israel
doesn’t doze
or ever get drowsy.

The Lord is your protector,
there at your right side
to shade you from the sun.
You won’t be harmed
by the sun during the day
or by the moon at night.

The Lord will protect you
and keep you safe
from all dangers.
The Lord will protect you
now and always
wherever you go.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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