The joyful journey
Psalm 122: When they said, “Let’s go to the house of God,” my heart leaped for joy.
I know we like to take this verse and use it to describe people waking up on Sunday morning, thrilled at the prospect of going to church, but this psalm isn’t really about that at all. This is a song sung by pilgrims as they journey to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple there. From across the country God’s people set their faces toward Jerusalem to worship. The song writer describes the decision being made to make that journey: someone says, “Let’s make the trip to Jerusalem for the Passover this year.” The response is one of joy, “Yes, let’s do it!” Thus plans are made for that long journey, quite likely several days of walking, traveling up to Jerusalem. As they walk they sing, and this is one of their songs. While I’m okay with using the opening words of this psalm to celebrate our opportunity to attend worship services at a nearby church I think we somewhat shortchange the application of it. The journey described here isn’t necessarily a short drive bringing us to 9:45 Sunday School and 10:45 Worship. A better application is our journey to the New Jerusalem. That journey isn’t by land or sea, but through life. The best use of this passage for us is to see it as an expression of the joy of our walking together with God’s people through life and our anticipation of entering the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, at journey’s end.
Take Away: It’s a joy to serve the Lord as we journey through life.