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Monthly Message from Our Minister

JULY 2017

Help for the journey
‘Are we there yet?’ This is a familiar cry from a child frustrated by a long journey, impatient to be at the destination. With the school holidays soon upon us, it’s good to be reminded of Psalm 121. This is one of those psalms (Ps 120-134) used by the Jewish pilgrims journeying to Jerusalem for the great festivals.

There were real dangers for these Jewish pilgrims on their journey. They could slip on the road, there was the threat of wild animals and they had to suffer hot days and cold nights. On the Christian journey we are tempted by ‘the world, the flesh and the devil’, as well as dealing with those who mess up our lives and our questions about
God’s goodness or existence.

So where do we look for help? 'I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?’ (Psalm 121:1). Ironically, the Jews would look to the hills, where pagan worship was practiced. Even today, we can go to the wrong places for help e.g. horoscopes rather than the Scriptures; work colleagues or friends, rather than fellow Christians. We can also miss where to look for help: ‘My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth’ (2).

Like the Jewish pilgrims, we need to recognise that only God has the power to keep us on the road. Even when God seems silent in our suffering, He is ‘watching over us’ (5). On our journey He ‘will keep us from harm’ (7) and ‘watch over our coming and going’ (8).

Rev Paul Hardingham