November 29 Monday
This Psalm was sung by the Jews as they entered Jerusalem after a long trek from their tents and tiny hamlets. Jerusalem was “where the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to praise the name of the Lord …” (verse 4) What did they pray for first after they passed through the gates? “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” (verses 6-7) While it’s great that the message of the Bible is timeless, it’s sad that these words have even more meaning today than they had back then. In this Psalm, Jerusalem was simply where the Temple was, where Jews gathered to worship God as a people, as a community. Where do Christians gather now to pray and worship God. In church! As Eugene Peterson wrote about the Psalms, “We are most congruent with the conditions in which the Psalms were produced and prayed when we pray in a praying congregation.” Together, here at Calvary, we pray as a community — to me more as a family. Now, as then, we hope and pray for peace, and wait expectantly for the joyful coming of Christ.