Look Up - Psalm 121
A Lent Reflection for Thursday, March 2nd
By Rev. Oreon K. Trickey
Lectionary Reading: Psalm 121; Isaiah 51:1-3; 2 Timothy 1:3-7
Selected passage: Psalm 121
Psalm 121 - New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
For many of us, Lent is a season of inward focus and reflection, taking an inventory of our soul, of our discipleship, of our lives. In a perfect world, putting aside one of our usual daily pleasures will help us to be less distracted, to better focus on how we are really doing in the depths of our being. This is a good and important process that opens up opportunities for healing and transformation, for sure.
But it can also lead to our being a little too self-absorbed. Yes, in one sense this is all about our plunging into the darkness of Lent in preparation of the light of Easter. Of owning our stuff, coming clean to ourselves and to God. Of opening up in new ways to who we can be as followers of Jesus.
At the same time, a sense of spiritual balance is needed.
Psalm 121 gives us a good perspective for our Lent experience. As we look inward, we also look upward. We lift up our eyes and see all that God is and all that God does for us. To allow the Lord to keep us in the midst of our Lenten experience. (Note that the word “keep” is used six times in this short Psalm.)
Lent is not just about us being all alone in dealing with our stuff, it’s about walking with our keeping God, partnering together towards transformation.
Read through Psalm 121 three times, slowly, section by section.
Pause between each section and invite God to show you how God is keeping you today and in this season of Lent.
Keeper God, please give me the faith and trust that you are indeed with me, keeping me as I seek to bring my darkest failings and frailties into Your light. Help me to rest in your power to stay with me and see me through this season, to help me, heal me, grow me, and lead me toward Resurrection. Amen.
About the Author
A long-time resident of Chicago, Oreon is a seasoned urban ministry practitioner, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and Enneagram consultant. She currently lives and serves with the Jesus People community in the city's Uptown neighborhood. Oreon plays a mean blues guitar, loves to laugh deeply, and appreciates a serious cup of coffee. @oreont