Read: Psalms 124-127
There is certainly a place for ceremony and symbolism in Christian worship. When done properly – and biblically – this can help us better understand God’s wondrous nature and work.
On the other hand, God has a way of reaching us where we live day to day, and the psalmists had that perspective, too. As we continue to reflect on the “songs of ascent,” we find the topics of these songs to be very practical in nature.
The world of work
In Psalm 126, for example, the idea of God “restoring the fortunes” of Israel is described in the context of farming (with the full range of emotions that accompany that difficult work).
Psalm 127 speaks to the tasks of building, both physical buildings and families. Both require lots of “work,” and both go better when depending on God’s help.
Remember, these songs were sung in the context of approaching Jerusalem and temple worship. Interesting how so many of the reflections referred to everyday life events.
Where is God?
Some talk of worship as “seeking God,” and too often the context is limited to the church sanctuary. While we certainly think this is important, it is unfair to keep God in the “box” of a four-walled building or room.
May these psalms give us continued sensitivity to God’s presence and power in our daily lives. He’s there; are we noticing?