Reading: Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from whence does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Lord, on this day that the Jewish people call Sabbath — a day for rest from labour; a day for attention to You and all the good things we have by Your grace — I am thankful for the rhythms You have established for us, of work and of rest, of waking and of sleep. This Psalm reminds me that we can sleep and take our rest, because you never do. There is not one moment when Your Hand slips from the helm of the universe. There is not one hair that can fall from my head, apart from your notice. Each day and in each circumstance, you are working your purpose out, and in that we are secure. Lord, I confess, I am fatigued. I am worn out by covid, by the strain of my responsibilities and by a sense, which can tend so easily to cynicism, that whatever good thing I may attempt, it is bound to be compromised by the inadequacy in me… the viciousness or stupidity in others… the perversity in the world.… Lord, when I feel like this help me lift my eyes to the hills, and to the One who dwells higher than the hills, at the very summit of the cosmos — the One who superintends the spinning of this blue-green ball, and all the lives upon it. I give You thanks for the gift of sleep. I pray for those who struggle, because of anxiety, because of pain, because of shift work, because of the wakefulness required by a small child or a loved one with dementia, to enjoy a sleep that is truly restorative. I pray for cultures, who because of terror, or because of an idolatry of work, productivity and accumulation, cannot rest and abide in Your unearned blessings. I pray that I and those who share this cultural moment would be wise with the use of electronics, and other stimulants, so that we do not lose the precious gift of sleep, or make ourselves incapable of the holy state of rest. Above all, increase my trust in You, so that I may truly know You have me, and all whom I love, safe in the hollow of your Hand. These things I pray in Jesus’ name. AMEN.
-Rev. Karla Wubbenhorst