Saturday, March 7, 2020
I was raised on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. To this day, I can’t read this text without thinking of Maria as played by Julie Andrews. In the musical, it is the mountains that provide the beautiful backdrop, the place of full communion with nature, and finally the way to escape the grip of Nazism for the family von Trapp.
Jerusalem is surrounded by seven peaks that are each higher than the city itself. The “hills” are likely the hills of Jerusalem, which includes Mount Zion and Mount of Olives. In ancient times, cities built among hills like this were more easily defended against attack. They were places of solace and comfort in times of uncertainty and insecurity. So it makes sense that the psalmist would be looking to the hills as a source for help and strength.
From whence does our help come? We live in days of uncertainty and insecurity. We see how fragile life is, at almost every turn. We have media (both social and public) that create fear and uncertainty with each new broadcast, post, or tweet. We find ourselves overwhelmed and engulfed in the flames of today and our fear of tomorrow. It is then that we look up and glimpse the mountain … the symbol of God … the emblem of our faith … rising far above our fears and doubts.
May today be for us a day of hope.
Show us the mountain of hope, Lord God. When we are overwhelmed with the stuff of life, lift our eyes to see that you provide for us the stuff of faith! Amen.