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Surrounded

        This month for Quench – a group exploring spiritual practices together -we enjoyed a Saturday morning exploring contemplative prayer and lectio divina. One thing the instructor said about lectio divina, or divine reading, was that you could use this practice not only with scripture, but you could also use it looking at art or architecture, a garden, or a walk in the woods. The method is easy to remember by four “Rs”: Read, Reflect, Respond and Rest. For more info see: http://www.rethinkchurch.org/articles/spiritual-practices/spiritual-moments-on-the-go
        In the lectionary selection for Sunday 9/9/18, the psalmist writes:
   Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion;
it cannot be upended and will endure forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people,
now and forevermore. (Psalm 125:1-2 NET)
        Picture yourself standing upon the hilltop that the temple mount in Jerusalem stands upon. That hilltop is Zion. To the east is the Kidron Valley and beyond the valley is the Mount of Olives and the garden of Gethsemane. To the south is the Hinnom Valley and the pool of Siloam. To the west lies the city of Jerusalem and to the north lies the pool of Bethesda. All around are mountain tops that surround the city.
        The psalmist sees this terrain with the temple of the Lord at its center and says those who trust in God cannot be moved or overturned. They will endure like the mountain on which the temple stands, because of the faithfulness of God.
        Not only does the one who trusts in the Lord have a sure and certain foundation, they also can trust that God protects them from all sides. In any direction one can see the mountain tops standing guard over the holy city. In the same way those who stand on the sure foundation of faith in the Lord can trust that they are protected from danger at every side.
        Jesus taught that in this life we will have trouble, but to take heart for He has overcome the world and its troubles. Jerusalem had its share of troubles too. But through it all God was with them. God was faithful, even when they failed to be faithful to God. When trouble assaults you, remember that you stand upon a foundation that cannot be shaken; the Almighty is your rock and fortress. And you are surrounded by His steadfast love and faithfulness.
        Join me in meditating upon this image. You are God’s temple. (1st Corinthians 3:16) You stand secure upon God’s power and faithfulness to you. Look upon that which is troubling you. Stand firm on your rock, the Lord. And watch your enemy fall to the watchguard surrounding you, the presence of the Almighty.
        “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.” – Jesus (John 14:27)
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Shalom to you my friend,

 

Rev. Scott Tyring
Associate Pastor
Roberts Park UMC

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