by Pastor Suzanne
Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born!
African American Spiritual, Evangelical Lutheran Worship #290
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Today’s Advent Pastor’s Challenge highlights one of my favorite psalms, 121. It is a psalm that I almost always read at the gravesite as people are gathering for the interment. In beautiful imagery the psalmist reminds us that God is always present with us. Whether we are awake or asleep the Lord watches over us and we will not be harmed. To me, they are comforting words. Knowing that God is always present, always watching over me, and will never leave me has comforted me throughout the years.
On this day, in 2007, my husband Doug entered the church triumphant. Doug was a giant among men. For starters he was 6’4” so he was literally tall but more than physical size he was a man of strength and love and comfort. Amid his struggle with cancer, he repeatedly reached out to others and offered them hope and a hearty laugh. Doug was a man of integrity and lived his life to the fullness, always concerned about others. A helicopter pilot in Vietnam and later at Medevac he was responsible for saving countless lives and yet was extremely humble. Faith was first in his life, followed by family and then friends. To know him was to love him. Agent orange took him way too young, and the lessons he taught and the love he shared lives on. Along with his amazing sense of humor!
For me, Doug is always with me and is a part of my every breath. He reminds me of the presence of God and the way that even when we can not feel or see God, God is with us. The sun will not harm you nor the night. No matter where you are the Lord is watching over you. Alive or dead, it does not matter, you are always in God’s presence. That is the best news I can possibly imagine!
In a world that is hurting and scared and anxious, God is with us. The baby we wait for, Emmanuel, is God with us. Literally and figuratively! I hope that you will join me this day in shouting this good news from every mountain and valley, so that all the world will know that God is with us! The pandemic can shut down restaurants and gyms but can not shut down God’s love for every one of us! The pandemic can keep us from each other but cannot keep God from loving and protecting us! And even though we cannot be physically together, we can still share this Good News through social media, conversations, zoom gatherings, cards, and any other any means of communication we can shout to all that God is with us! Amen!