1063.) Psalms 122 and 123

Let us go unto the house of the Lord!

Let us go unto the house of the Lord!

Psalm 122   (NRSV)

Song of Praise and Prayer for Jerusalem

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

I was glad when they said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
Our feet are standing
    within your gates, O Jerusalem.

I lived in Jerusalem for the school year 1978-1979, working as an English teacher at the Anglican International School.  (I remember in my 7th grade class, I had 11 students who spoke 11 different languages at home; we all spoke English at school.)  I also played the organ every week for the English speaking services at Redeemer Lutheran Church in the Old City.

I lived in Rehavia, a section of the New City (my apartment was not far from the Prime Minister’s official residence).  So every Sunday morning I traveled (often walked) to the Old City.  I would enter through Jaffa Gate.  I got into the habit of saying the first two verses of Psalm 122 whenever I entered the city on Sunday morning.  And it is a habit I have kept up for all these years — most Sunday mornings, when I wake up and begin to get ready to go to church, I say these verses to myself.

I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
 Our feet have been standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem!

Jerusalem—built as a city
    that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up,
    the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
    to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
    the thrones of the house of David.

P122 pray for peace

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    “May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
    and security within your towers.”
For the sake of my relatives and friends
    I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    I will seek your good.

The name “Jerusalem” means city of peace.  We pray for peace in the city of peace.  The benediction of peace rests upon all who love the city of the Great King.

–William MacDonald

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Music:

HERE  is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me”  by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918).  You may remember the piece as the processional at the start of the marriage ceremony of Prince William and Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey on April 29th, 2011.

_________________________

P123 v1

Psalm 123   (NRSV)

Supplication for Mercy

The scene is the land of captivity—an all-too-familiar setting for the oppressed people of Israel.  They found themselves there in Egypt, in Babylon, in Nazi Germany, in the Warsaw ghetto and the Siberian slave-labor camps.  Their urgent plea is for mercy.  They pour out their prayer to the One who is their only refuge and security, to the Friend of the oppressed and downtrodden.

–William MacDonald

A Song of Ascents.

To you I lift up my eyes,
    O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants
    look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
    to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
    until he has mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
    for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than its fill
    of the scorn of those who are at ease,
    of the contempt of the proud.

What is the most difficult thing in your life right now?  What weighs you down? The most broken relationship?  The most nagging fear?  The part of you that feels hopeless or faithless?  Read this psalm again with that in mind and ask God for mercy for you.  Isaiah 30:18 says, Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.  Blessed are all who wait for him!

_________________________

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)   New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Images courtesy of:
Let us go unto the house of the Lord.    http://closerdaybyday.info/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/psalm-122.jpg
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.    https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/p480x480/945807_10151926829079896_1829685976_n.jpg
Unto Thee lift I up mine eyes.    http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o8/Jessdad/psalm123_1.jpg
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