Dear Friends Church Family,
This week’s devotional is written by Felipe Hinojosa.
I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
–Psalm 121, NRSV
My grandfather, Felix Tijerina, started every road trip early in the morning, with a car packed full of kids, food, and other supplies, and by reading Psalm 121 out loud in Spanish, el Salmo 121. They were headed north to work. Their destinations included Traverse City, Michigan, to pick cherries and Archbold, Ohio to pick tomatoes, and for everyone in that packed truck the road ahead was unfamiliar, with many unknowns along the way. I never experienced this. All I have are the stories of my mother and my tios and tias. And because of this reading Psalm 121 before every road trip is a family tradition for us. But I’ve learned that it’s also an important ritual followed by many Mexican and Mexican American migrant families who throughout much of the twentieth century and still today read the text before heading north to work in the fields. Here’s why this matters.