Be still and rest in the Lord.
Psalm 122 (NRSV)
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
Our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers.”
For the sake of my relatives and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your good.
The call to go to God’s house may not always come to us at the most convenient time, but it is a joyful event. The people of Israel gathered at the Temple in Jerusalem to offer thanks and gratitude and to be strengthened for their common life. Those things take place when faith communities come together for worship.
The psalmist seems to be reminding us that perhaps the best we can do, when we go to the house of the Lord after giving thanks and praise, is to pray for peace and seek God’s goodness for all—peace within Jerusalem, peace within the walls of the city, even peace within each individual member of the community.
It seems to me that the psalmist said it backwards. In order for peace to make its way through our churches and our communities, it must begin within the hearts and minds of the individuals who are a part of those groups. As individuals and as the gathered congregation, seeking God’s peace, goodness and righteousness is perhaps the greatest thing we can do.
Prince of Peace, on this day when most of us will be gathering in your house to worship you in spirit and truth, keep us focused on your good and help us to pray for peace within ourselves, our homes, our churches, our communities, and our world. Use us as your instruments of peace until your vision for peace is accomplished on earth as it is in heaven. Hear our prayer, most merciful God. Amen.
Go with God.