Some of the rumors turned out to be true, including the one about campers picking their favorite songs from throughout the week and shouting out their requests. I found myself yelling,”Psalm 25!” This had become my favorite song that week at camp. There was clapping, dancing, and it always made me really joyful. Here are the lyrics:
Psalm 25 (To You, Oh Lord)
To You, oh Lord, I lift up my soul
In You I trust, oh Lord (repeat)
Higher than the mountains, deeper than the sea
Wider than the ocean is your love for me
You’re with me on the mountain and the valley below
You are right here beside me everywhere that I go!
Words and Music by Krista Wiger © 1965
Only later did I learn that Psalm 25 is not one of praise, but supplication. Understanding and acknowledging the pain that often goes along with such confusing times for us and the youth we work with, I also want to bring back a tiny bit of the praise aspect I originally felt around that smelly, hot campfire in Ohio. There is something incredibly freeing about acknowledging we have absolutely no control over so many parts of our lives. This message is counter cultural, but one we see over and over again in Scripture. In fact, deepening our relationship with God requires us to rely on God with our whole soul, trusting and praying for guidance.
Advent is my favorite season in the Church year, for a number of reasons. I am challenged by a strange man from the wilderness who eats locusts and wild honey. This is my first Advent as a pregnant woman and I hear a different note in Mary’s prayers for a child already so loved and eagerly awaited. I also love Advent’s message of waiting and hope this season is one of prayerful reflection and supplication, mixed with praise:
Dear God, please show me how to best love my neighbors, both far off and near. Guide my feet when I cannot see the way ahead or do not know which way to turn. Thank you for always being with me, no matter which path I choose or how many wrong turns I take. Help me, in this Advent season, be patient and trust you completely, knowing you alone are my source of strength and loving support. Amen.
If you’re wondering how the song sounds or would like to get a tiny taste of Lutheran summer camp, check out this video from Luther Dell in Minnesota: