A Reflection on Psalm 121
I am in love with city living. There’s nothing more beautiful to me than a densely populated urban landscape, teeming with energy, diversity, and vitality. There’s perhaps nothing more emblematic of those characteristics than a city’s uniquely crafted skyline.
I find the notion of lifting “my eyes to the hills” both quaint and unfamiliar. When I scan the horizon, I see modern marvels of steel, concrete, and glass: monuments of industry and temples of commerce. Often adorned with oversized logos, they speak to our societal obsession with branding, both corporate and personal.
In an age where self-aggrandizement is encouraged and even glorified, I am reassured by the timeless universality of the psalms. While boisterous voices cry out that the bright, shining, charismatic “stars” from the entertainment, corporate, or political realms offer hope, help, or even salvation, it is reassuring that now, as always, “My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”
As the impressionable boys entrusted into our care at the Bishop Walker School explore their often complex worlds, I’m struck by the notion that (without discounting the primary role their parents play) when they scan the horizon from the vantage point of their diminutive stature, in potentially significant ways, their view is being dominated by a skyline that looks very much like the lives of the adults with whom they interact at school daily – both a sobering thought and an amazing opportunity. May the logos emblazoned across our foreheads boldly declare that “The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in, from this time forth for evermore.”
James R. Woody
Executive Director and President
The Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys
Links to the appointed readings for today: