Psalm 121 (CEB)

1 I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
    Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the maker of heaven and earth.
God won’t let your foot slip.
    Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job.
No! Israel’s protector
    never sleeps or rests!
The Lord is your protector;
    the Lord is your shade right beside you.
The sun won’t strike you during the day;
    neither will the moon at night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
    God will protect your very life.
The Lord will protect you on your journeys—
    whether going or coming—
    from now until forever from now.

Note from the Author: Just a quick introduction about me – I have been joining you all online for almost 3 years now from Indiana, PA, and it really is time I do something to contribute more to MUMC’s ministries. Pastor Joe happens to be my younger brother. – Thanks, Jan! Love, Joe


This psalm can make us feel that God will never let anything bad happen to us. Oh, but we know that this can be a misconception about following the Lord. We have those times when we are out there for too long in the sun and even though we put on plenty of sunscreen, maybe we missed a patch or we forgot to rescreen so we get burned.

We also get burned sometimes when we talk to someone about our faith, and they reject/ridicule us or we do something kind or right, and it just comes back to cause us a problem or it feels like those we are helping are not grateful. We know that getting sunburned can lead to very serious consequences, so we try to be better prepared next time out, although getting sunburned generally does not keep us away from the beach or from taking a walk on a beautiful sunny day. So why does getting burned in other ways keep us from getting out there and doing more to build our faith and to help others build theirs, or to just let them know that someone cares? Sometimes it is fear, sometimes pride, sometimes weariness, and sometimes laziness. The list can go on and on. All of these things can be difficult to overcome, as we know, but we need to get out there and take that first step, and this psalm assures us that we have a Protector who will go with us if we ask. We need to expect and accept that God will walk with us no matter what happens on our journey.

As we work this Lent  to find new activities to build our faith – and MUMC has many including reading the Adam Hamilton book (see below), delivering food, writing devotions, getting involved with music or children’s ministries, this Psalm reminds us that God is and will be with us every step of the way – until forever. Our sunburn and our pride will both be healed way before then!

by Janet Waryck

For Pondering & Prayer

What is keeping you from taking a step toward doing a new thing to grow your faith? 

Prayer: Our Guide and Our Strength, help us to remember that You are with us every step of our journey – until forever. Amen.

As We Begin Lent

For our Lent series this year, we’ll be using the Adam Hamilton book Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws. At his website, you can find a 40-day reading plan to help you read through the Gospel of Luke during Lent. And join us for worship, in-person or online, at 9:00 & 10:30 every Sunday.