Neighborhood News and Notes
Verse of the Day
(Actually an entire Psalm):
"I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever." Psalm 121 (HCSB)
Six times in eight verses, the Psalmist uses the same base word translated twice as a noun and four times as a verb. All six words either describe the character of God (Protector) or what He does (protects). In the title for the Psalm, the Psalm is identified as a "Song of Ascents". This means this Psalm was likely a song sung by Jewish pilgrims as they made their way to the Holy Mount of God to worship Him in Jerusalem. The journey to Jerusalem was a difficult one. In the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, the man who fell among robbers was traveling the steep road between Jerusalem and Jericho.
So as the Psalmist looks toward his destiny -- the place of worship -- the question asked is where will my help come from? His look is one of longing and fear. He longs to worship God but there is fear about the journey there. He confesses that his help comes from the Lord, the Creator of all things. His confession is affirmed in verses 3-8. Within these verses is where we find the word "Protector" and its verb forms.
What does the Psalmist say about God as Protector? The word "protect" in the translation above also means "to watch over", "to guard", "to keep". It means the same thing that we read in Luke 2:8 which says the shepherds were out in the field "keeping watch over" their flock by night. The psalmist describes God and His activity as:
- He will not allow your foot to slip
- He will not slumber or sleep
- He is a shelter by your right side
- The sun will not strike you by day
- The moon will not strike you by night
- He will protect (watch over, guard, keep) you from all harm
- He will protect (watch over, guard, keep) your life
- He will protect (watch over, guard, keep) your coming and going both now and forever
These verses tell us that God is always alert to our needs -- no threat to His sheep can catch Him "off guard". His protection is always there. It is there now and will be forever.
With this view of God, the psalmist is able to move forward with confidence to worship God on the mount and to wherever he journeys in life.
When you lift your eyes do you see challenges before you? Let this psalm encourage you that you have a Protector, one who helps you in all circumstances; one who never sleeps, but is always watching. "The mountains may be great, but your Maker is greater. The problems may be overwhelming, but His protection is ever available. The hurts are inevitable, but his help is inexhaustible." (Daniel Estes, Psalm 73-150, New American Commentary). We will make it to the Mount of God!
Enjoy another song by Kari Jobe based on Psalm 121. The title is "Keeper (Protector) of My Heart": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnuPxlZosoE
"Stay at Home" Proclamation -- Since our Mecklenburg County authorities issued their "Stay at Home" proclamation, the State has initiated theirs. We are now under a statewide "Stay at Home" plan until the end of April. For more information and updates on this and other COVID-19 news, check out the update page on our website at:
Online Giving -- We now have online giving operational. Lynda, our Financial Assistant, has indicated that a few people have used it and it is working. If this is an option for you, especially during the time we are unable to meet, here is the link for online giving on our website: https://neighborhoodchurchnc.org/give
If you would rather use regular mail, the address is:
12625 Kemerton Lane
Huntersville, NC 28078
Checkout our Church Facebook Page -- If you are on Facebook, visit our church page (Neighborhood Church NC). It is a place where you can leave comments of encouragement or ask questions. I plan to add on our Facebook page at least one verse of scripture each day that I hope will encourage you. Take a look at the page and make comments about anything on your mind as a way to stay connected with each other during these days.
A Great Time to Love Our Neighbors -- During this time of "social distancing," think of ways you can help your neighbors. Without putting your health or theirs in jeopardy, what are some things you can do to show the love of Christ to your neighbors during this time? Run an errand? Share a book, toys, games, etc. for families whose kids are now "stuck" at home all day? If you come up with some ideas, share them on the Facebook page or email them to me. I'll share with the church family. That may spur someone else to reach out to their neighbors also!
If you need help with anything, please let me know. I already have some folks who have expressed to me their willingness to help. You can email me or contact me on my cell phone (704-264-9265). This number also receives texts.