Psalms of Journey
“Are we there, yet?” is often asked by the back seat residents while going on a long trip. Most often it is the younger crowds who ask this question every few minutes, but adults ask the same thing if the journey seems longer than necessary. What joy, peace, and excitement tingles every sense in our bodies to know we are there! We finally made it! We are no longer confined in a vehicle on the way to our destination! We are free to look around, explore and learn about our new surroundings!
We relate to the pilgrims’ excitement in the mere planning of their trip! Imagine the conversations, “Do we have enough to eat for the journey?” “Did you remember to pack the provisions for camping along the way?” “Did you pack clothes to wear to the Temple for this special time to worship God?” We can only imagine. After a long, dusty, treacherous journey, they arrive! The words describe their excitement to be where “all Yahweh’s tribes go up to worship…THIS is what it means to be Israel.”
Psalm 122, The Message
A Pilgrim Song of David
1-2 When they said, “Let’s go to the house of God,”
my heart leaped for joy.
And now we’re here, O Jerusalem,
inside Jerusalem’s walls!
3-5 Jerusalem, well-built city,
built as a place for worship!
The city to which the tribes ascend,
all God’s tribes go up to worship,
To give thanks to the name of God—
this is what it means to be Israel.
Thrones for righteous judgment
are set there, famous David-thrones.
6-9 Pray for Jerusalem’s peace!
Prosperity to all you Jerusalem-lovers!
Friendly insiders, get along!
Hostile outsiders, keep your distance!
For the sake of my family and friends,
I say it again: live in peace!
For the sake of the house of our God, God,
I’ll do my very best for you.
Years ago, our churches would gather in one place for a time of learning and worship of God. We traveled over a thousand miles each summer to be there. It was economically challenging to my family but worth every sacrifice to make the trip. This gathering gave us a tiny glimpse of what the pilgrims traveling on foot to get the Temple might have been like. What a thrill to see God’s people all in one place worshiping Him on a mountain of praise, extolling His glory. THIS is what God wants when we gather, in His Name, in any place that gives honor and glory to Him. THIS is church…a gathering of God’s people.
Dear Heavenly Father, Do not allow us to become complacent of the privileged to get in our vehicles and drive a few miles to worship you each week with others who believe and worship you, too. Our love for You and Your love for us increases exponentially as we worship You together with others who love You. It’s all about You. Everything begins and ends with You. May we never forget to meet with each other to give glory and praise to You.
In Jesus Name, Amen