Dear friends and family of Meridian UMC:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
This passage was shared at our last Sunday service in Oregon City and is appropriate for us today as we begin our adventures in Meridian. We lived in the coastal lowlands at around 50 feet above sea level. And now our home is over 2,600 feet higher with views of even higher hills!
The heading to Psalm 121 says, "A song of ascents." This means it is a Pilgrim Psalm - sung by Jewish pilgrims as they made their way to the holy city, Jerusalem. Ascension - going up the Temple.
Our family feels like pilgrims moving along the trail. That word "pilgrim" perfectly describes the Christian; and that word "pilgrimage" perfectly describes the Christian life. A pilgrim is someone who is traveling somewhere; a pilgrim is someone who stays in a place as a stranger or visitor. Christians are pilgrims. The Christian life is a pilgrimage. Our final citizenship is in heaven and we are but temporary dwellers on earth. Our life is a pilgrim journey to the place where we really belong.
I remember the story of a visitor who went into a rabbi’s home one evening. He was astonished to see that the rabbi's home was only a simple room filled with books, plus a table and a cot. The tourist asked, "Rabbi, where is your furniture?" The Rabbi replied back, "Where is yours?" The puzzled guest asked, "Mine? But I'm only a visitor here. I'm only passing through." The rabbi replied, "So am I." That's true for all of us – all Christians know that on this earth and in this body they are but pilgrims passing through on the way to eternal glory.
Our family is excited about our next adventure in Idaho. We know that Pastor John has done great ministry with all of you and his shoes will be hard to fill. Where will my help come from? Its nice that the Psalm answers its own question. Our help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Imagine the might and the power to make everything in heaven and earth; imagine the might and the power to make you and me. The LORD, He is Almighty. All things are in His hands.
I remember a little girl who asked her parents “How big is God?” Her father thought for a moment and answered, "Honey, he is always just a little bigger than you need." Our God is the Maker of heaven and earth. He is always able to give us exactly the help that we need.
Our family is excited about our new adventure in Idaho. Thank you for the warm hospitality we have already received from several folk and groups. I look forward to meeting you all and seeing what great things Meridian UMC is doing!
See you in worship,