This is the mini-sermon I preached at the three Thanksgiving services. I was the first of three to preach at each of the services and each one of us took a different thing to be thankful for and preached on a text that spoke to that theme. My text was all of Psalm 121.
When I hear this Psalm I picture a man; I picture a worried man; a man that is consumed and overburdened by the weights of the world. I picture a man that is bent over, his head hanging, staring at the ground lost in doubt and concern. I picture a hopeless man. And then I picture this same man raise his head, he casts his eyes up, he looks to the mountain and to the endless sky beyond.
Why does he look to the mountain?.... Why does he look to the sky?... Why do we stare in awe at the endless and deep starry sky? Why do we sit on the rock and reflect on the valley below us, breathing a world full of breath?, why do we listen to the wind whispering through the tops of the trees? Why do we feel, deep in our chests, the swell of every wave rolling gently and then powerfully to the shore? Why does the glow of the sun that rests on our faces, warm us deeply to the core? Why do we smell the flowers and dance in the images of singing birds, and laughing children, and so many fresh spring days?
This is our world and it is our home. It is the house that comforts and protects the fragile infant, the jungle gym for the playing children, the fields of grass to run and run, the bath to bathe in, the living room where we find our family, and the bed and pillow on which we rest and the blanket that wraps us tightly.
This is the home that was built for us by the very hands of God. And its foundation, its walls and its roof… all the elements of our creation, reveal God’s power, God’s grace, and God’s love. When we are sad and the sun brings us hope, or the rain cries with us, when we are afraid and the dawn breaks the day, or the moon and stars shine through the darkness, when we are worried and the mountain does not move, when we are happy and the mountain does not move, when the mountain does not move, and the ocean lives and breathes, and the wind speaks to all the earth… the Spirit of God speaks to us.
When the wind rushes down the mountainside and across the valley the Spirit of God speaks to us, when the wind pushes across thousands of miles of ocean and breaks in waves on the beach the Spirit of God speaks to us, when the wind rolls and dances through the trees in whispers and shouts the Spirit of God speaks to us.
We look to the mountain in times of trouble because it is where the lives that we have built up for ourselves cannot cover over the voice of God, where the streets and buildings and signs and lights do not block the image of God. We look to the mountain because it breathes the breath of God and… on that mountain we can see it, in the ocean we can feel it, in the wind we can breathe it.
God has made you… and God protects you… God is near you… and God loves you…. And all of creation is waiting to tell you the story.
May our Thanks be to God....