Inviting Hope

I am of the nature to be quite
most of the time but
not now.

The plaid flannel shirt, soft as a puppy’s ear
warmth all winter, is

put in storage in my impatient mind
where I’m
tired of sleet and snow
dead leaves.

Hanging in closet are greys, deep reds,
for now
alternating hangers
with bright

colors that will surely soon erupt
with spring
grasses, dandelions,
and spears

of asparagus, daffodils, and
blooms, forsythia,

Cold refreshing air inhaled transmits
this grand
sense of calm and peace.
So nice.

Psalm 121

A Pilgrimage Song

I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
God won’t let your foot slip.
Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job.
No! Israel’s protector
never sleeps or rests!
The Lord is your protector;
the Lord is your shade right beside you.
The sun won’t strike you during the day;
neither will the moon at night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
God will protect your very life.[a]
The Lord will protect you on your journeys—
whether going or coming—
from now until forever from now.


Imagine the Jewish people climbing the hills towards the grand Temple in Jerusalem while singing Psalm 121, following the lead of the cantor.
Even today we are encouraged to trust more fully in God’s protection, in all circumstances and in all times.

  • It helps to pray for one another and invite God’s peace into our restlessness.
  • It is good to invite God into our weakness and fragility, asking for strength.
  • It is a valuable practice to invite God into the deepest part of our anxiety,
  • then pray for a sense of calm.

Especially during the wilderness of Lent, when we each do our part to release all that keeps us from true unity with God, we become stronger and more faithful as individuals. The world needs us to be an intentionally loving congregation, keeping our eyes open for those who need us, and guarding our mouths that we do not harm with words.

The light of Christ shines brighter and purer within our hearts when we pray, trust, and connect with the divine each day.

In gratitude we pray for each of you,
Rev. Marta Wheeler

To view or download a PDF version of this devotional, click here:  Devotional MW 2023-03-01