Psalm 95 is part of a group of psalms called “enthronement psalms” from Psalm 90-106. They were likely sung during the Jewish New Year celebrations that celebrate the enthronement of God. But they also deal with the difficult crisis of the Babylonian exile. These psalms not only sing of God’s reign but also painfully related doubts about Israel’s core beliefs in the face of upheaval. You know, it has now been over a year when the Session made the unprecedented decision to close the building- a mere five days before we were then required to close our building. Our AGM this afternoon will reflect some of those changes- we don’t have the usual group or committee reports- our budget demonstrates both hope and challenge. But one thing holds true or has remained true- and Psalm 95 reminds us of it, that God, our rock of salvation, the creator of the depths of the earth, and the heights of the mountains has remained with us, in fact, has inspired us to be creative during our time of upheaval.
Paired with Psalm 95 is Psalm 121, which is classified as a psalm of ascent, likely meant to reflect the journey pilgrims would take up to Jerusalem. Living where we do, surrounded by sea and mountains, we often forget how wondrous they really are. Although, perhaps this year, as many of you spend time outside, going for walks at Point Holmes, Goose Spit, Kye Bay, Bevan Trail, or Paradise Meadows, there are moments when we stop, take a deep breath and say, wow. When we drive along dyke road we see the Beaufort mountain range, and are sometimes struck by their beauty- as we look to those mountains, and sometimes remember to look to God for help. And, just like God, the mountains are also something to be feared- and I don’t mean to be afraid of- rather to be held with awe. This is something Al Wedel did often- whether he was skiing on Mount Washington or hiking Mount Albert Edward. The volunteers who serve as the Mount Washington Ski Patrol know this too. Today it is my privilege to welcome Margaret Symon who is a member of the Board for the Mount Washington Ski Patrol. This is the second community organization that we are supporting this year through our Lenten Project. The Mount Washington Ski Patrol was an organization close to Al Wedel’s heart and so we want to honour his memory by supporting them.