To the Congregants and Friends of FBC—
A Song of Ascents.
121 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to [a]be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your [b]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 shall [c]preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve[d] your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore (New King James Version—NKJV).
This week I am again recommending that we internalize and agree upon the above text—Psalm 121. Now, various Bible scholars believe that the “Accent Psalms” were sung by worshippers as they ascended the road to Jerusalem to attend various pilgrimage festivals…others believe they were sung by the Levite singers as they ascended the 15 steps to minister at the Temple in Jerusalem (wikipedia.org)…but, today here is Pastor Sheila’s thoughts about what is an “Accent Psalm.” This is a Psalm that a person can go to and feel assurance that all will be well, no matter what we have experienced or are presently going through…believers know that ALL of our help comes from God. This must truly be emphasized this week. This Psalm, when read and believed, enables us to move forward in hope and trust. The question is rhetorically asked by the Psalmist: “From where does my help come from?
This week we will relive, in remembrance, September 11, 2001. Many of us will never forget the four coordinated terrorist attacks on the United States by the Islamic group, al Qaeda. The attacks resulted in 2,977 fatalities and over 25,000 injuries. There was approximately $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Do you remember where you were during those attacks nineteen years ago? Many were not even born in 2001. Do you have any family or friends who died in those attacks? I am so sorry…but even if you did not have any family or friends connected to the carnage, we were all changed for life by those terrorist attacks. Along with this remembrance on this coming Friday, do you remember where you were or what normal acts in which you were engaging when informed that life was changing due to COVID-19? You may not have a clear memory on what you were doing or where you were, but in either case, we can all be clear that with Psalm 121, we can continue to know where our help comes from in times of need. We have hope because we know that we can go to God Who truly cares for us. Some folks may probably say, “God didn’t keep us from evil…God did not protect me or my friends or my family from those named tragedies…” I beg to differ with you. When we know we can go to God for our help…the evil we are protected from is that of hopelessness. When we know we can go to God for our help, and that the Holy One is our Keeper in spite of the “ugliness in the world,” I am here to tell you that is “Good News;” however, it must be internalized and believed in spite of what one’s mind may tell them. It’s all about trust and faith. If we are to go through the pain, disappointments, and horrors of life, we should want to do it with God at our side; the One Who will offer peace that the world refuses to give.
I hope you continue to watch FBC during our virtual Sunday morning worship. Invite your family and friends to a “watch party” of the FBC Sunday worships. This coming Sunday’s worship sermon is Having Confidence in Doing God’s Work!!!!—coming from Luke 13:31-35. Please, review the text prior to Sunday’s worship. Remember to invite family and friends to view the worship with you, and then discuss afterwards your thoughts and perspectives.
We look forward to our time together this coming Sunday, September 13th at 10 am on PCTV – 1301. If you live in South County, it is broadcast at 9 am on channel 1301 CTSB (Community Television for Southern Berkshires). And there’s always the FBC Facebook Live Stream (First Baptist Church of Pittsfield, MA)!
Yours in Christ,