1 I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let’s go to the Lord’s house!”
2 Now our feet are standing
in your gates, Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem is built like a city
joined together in unity.
4 That is where the tribes go up—
the Lord’s tribes!
It is the law for Israel
to give thanks there to the Lord’s name,
5 because the thrones of justice are there—
the thrones of the house of David!
In the time of Jesus, pilgrimages to Jerusalem were a regular part of Jewish life. The New Testament shares a story of one such trip Jesus made when he was twelve (remember that time his Mom & Dad almost lost him?)
Have you ever made a pilgrimage?
Some people visit famous ballparks. Others, important historical sites. Others, concert venues or museums or national parks.
We visit these places because something about them has become holy and sacred for us – because we feel something when we go there. The presence of God, the weight of human history, a special sense of peace.
Do you rejoice when someone says to you, “let’s go to church?” I hope so. It’s our aim and goal, as we plan and prepare liturgy, scripture, preaching, prayer, and music, to make the worship experience a weekly pilgrimage. It’s meant to be a place unlike other places you find yourself in throughout the week. It’s meant to be a place for meeting God, among God’s people. And that’s something as worthy of celebration today as it was 2000 years ago.
by Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer.
One of the other dimensions of pilgrimage is the community that’s built around that journey. The psalm talks about that in verses 3 and 4. Presumably, one of the reasons Jesus got separated from his parents in the story from Luke 2 is that he was traveling in a large group, with a whole lot of family. How important is the community when you choose to make a congregation your home? How are you investing in that community? Some simple ways to deepen your investment are to serve, to give, to spend time talking with people before and after services, and cultivating relationships with church folks outside of Sundays.
Prayer: God, we thank you that you’ve given us a church community with whom we can make our pilgrimage through this life. Help us to invest deeply in this journey, that we might know the fullness of your love at work in us and the people around us. Amen.