Monday, September 6, 2010

Psalm 122 – Peace Be Within You

“I rejoiced with those who said to me,

‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’.”

~Psalm 122:1 (NIV).

This psalm is all about loyalty to the Temple, to Jerusalem, and to Israel—for peace to reign.

Perhaps on our respective National Days that occur annually, and all countries seem to have them, there is the same virtuous pride that wells up, speaking the bond of unity each national has with their fellow nationals, due the bond of geographical and cultural connection. So too is the essence of shared peace in this chirpy little nine-verse song.

The Place of Arrival

Because of its early part in the passage of the Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120 – 134) this psalm imagines arrival at the Temple.

We can imagine arriving at a place we’ve waited all year to make our pilgrimage to. Excitement fills the air, for there are thousands of others there and the mood is one of buoyant and holy celebration; of purity to worship.

And for us, arrival is a poignant moment. But, truly, many of us never immerse ourselves in the mood of arrival—which is a present-worthy praise for simply being there, wherever “there” is.

We really have to have more days of arrival in our daily living... to enjoy the God-blessed moments as they reveal themselves to us.

The Temple Identity

Temple imagery was heavily translucent for the Israelites. It was central and primarily pivotal to their faith in Yahweh. The Presence of the Lord was there.

And our Temple identity is not really any different other than we don’t go to a temple to worship the Presence of God; God’s Presence uses our bodies and minds as the Temple for the Holy Spirit. The Presence of God is not cooped up in some dust-ridden place of worship that’s hardly used—it’s everywhere, most particularly within us and our loving fellowship, as we relate with God and the godly.

Temple – the Place of Peace

So, we can see, finally, how important the peace of the Temple of God’s Presence really is.

“For the sake of the house of the Lord our God” we must seek prosperity and peace from within us (verses 8 and 9), and from within the Body of Christ that is the Church these days.

But, it truly is only instituted in God.

Only when we make a provincial home for the Holy Spirit within us and within our fellowships—a place where the Presence of God is happy to rest via faith and harmony, both of which are action-based—will we experience this peace God has for within each one of us.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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