9/7/2022 - Look closely. He's there.
Psalm 120 thru 134 are titled Songs of Ascent. They are Psalms that Hebrew worshippers would sing as they approached Jerusalem for the three annual religious festivals. (Passover the most well known) Going “up” to Jerusalem was a pilgrimage of joy and expectation. After all, God’s presence was found in the Holy Temple. But while in exile the Temple was destroyed and Jerusalem’s walls were in shambles. Was God not to be found? Where did he go? We are all people of tradition. Structure and order leave us with a sense that all is well. And so it’s not surprising we ask “where is God?” when our lives are shaken and the world is in shambles. In Matthew 24, as Jesus was leaving the Temple, his disciples pointed to the grandeur of the Temple. Jesus told them soon not one stone will remain, it’ll all be thrown down. To the disciples that was a gut punch. Was God abandoning his people? In that same chapter Jesus answers: (Matthew 24:35) Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. So we have the Songs of Ascent, a pathway to God’s presence not found in a building or routine but in the Living Word, Jesus. So if you’re standing in rubble of a life shaken, begin the ascent toward God who has not disappeared. Start a pilgrimage of joy and expectation.
Psalms 121 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalms 126:3 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Psalms 128:1 Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.
Psalms 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
Psalms 134:3 May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.