Friday, July 24, 2020

July 24 – Friday prior to Pentecost 8 – Proper 12

Psalm 125 – is the suggested Psalm for this coming Sunday. This psalm speaks of Israel’s peace in testimony, prayer, and benediction. Bible scholars believe it was written after the exile when those held in Babylonian captivity were allowed to return to the Jewish homeland.

This psalm was most likely prayed as part of the liturgy in the Jewish worship service. Thus, the Psalms we pray in worship reach back into the Old Testament. Through the centuries, our prayers have remained constant. Literally, for thousands of years, God’s people have uttered this same prayer. This links us to generations past present and future. In an age when we are tempted to cater to specific age brackets the psalms unite us linking and connecting us throughout the generations of time.

The psalmist assures us—“For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous.” – V.3 From the beginning, a gracious and all-powerful Ruler was designed for his people; David’s ‘greater Son,’ the Lord Jesus Christ. The rule of those who preceded him would never “rest” on the land. Only his rule will continue forever.

This is our security and our destiny toward which we look with rich expectation. We are cared for with the secure protection of the city of Jerusalem which is surrounded by mountains. We have the certainty of a righteous Ruler forever.

We can see why this psalm was chosen for this compilation of the psalms of ascent. As the pilgrim worshipers made their way to Jerusalem from almost any place within the land of Palestine, the journeyed up increasingly higher ground. They felt the same awe we feel in the presence of the majestic mountains. And they sang this song to remind themselves that what they saw around them pictures in graphic ways the security and significance that they have in the LORD.

Lord surround your people with your presence. Do not let us stretch out our hands to evil deeds, not be destroyed by the snares of the enemy, but bring us to share the land prepared for the saints in light, where you love and reign, God, now and forever.[1]

[1]Collect for Psalm 125 For All the Saints A Prayer Book For and by the Church, Vol. II copyright © 1995 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY

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