Relax and clear your head. Listen for the voice of God. What is God saying to you today?
Psalm 84:1-7 (NRSV)
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise. Selah
Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
It isn’t easy for us today to picture what it must have been like to participate in worship at the Jerusalem Temple in ancient Israel. It was the worship center for the entire nation, sort of like a National Cathedral, only more so. People who lived near the borders of the nation made pilgrimages to the Temple, despite the distance and difficulty of travel, especially on the high feast days like Passover or the Feast of Booths. Jesus Christ, of course, made such a trip with Mary and Joseph to the Temple when he was twelve years old.
Recall the place where you most deeply experienced the Presence of the Lord. It might have been in a church, in your private prayer closet, or somewhere else. In this psalm we can hear the eager anticipation of one who is getting ready to make the journey to Jerusalem. Memories of the beauty of the Temple fill the pilgrim with joy. The psalmist’s longing for the courts of God reminds us a little of Christ’s Beatitude: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” Are we yearning for that closeness to God today?
God of beauty and peace, I am a pilgrim on the way. Even when the path leads through dry places, you refresh me with living water. How lovely is your dwelling place, and how thrilling it is to meet you there, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Go with God.