Today’s Lectio Divina: Psalm 134. (MsgB)
A Pilgrim Song.
Come, bless God, all you servants of God!
You priests of God, posted to the nightwatch in God’s shrine,
Lift your praising hands to the Holy Place, and bless God.
In turn, may God of Zion bless you— God who made heaven and earth!
Woo hoo! We made it! The top of the mountain. We’re here!
Fifteen steps. Fifteen Songs.
Lots of miles under our feet. Lots of broken guitar strings along the way.
Long obedience in the same direction.
I’m kinda out of breath, how about you?
But look at the view from here! Amazing how much more we can see when we’re looking at life from this perspective.
Look down there. See those folks way down there at the base of the mountain. Fifteen steps lower than where we stand right now.
Gosh. I remember standing down there just a few days ago. Looking up at the winding road and wondering to myself, “Can an old guy like me really make it up this mountain?” Just think of it. Singing my way right into the presence of God!
I mean, this Mountain is special. This is more than Mt. Everest, Mt. McKinley, or Pike’s Peak. This is God’s Mountain. This is Jerusalem. The Holy City on the Hill. The Temple Mount. Zion. God’s Hiding Place. This is Mecca. This is the City of David. This is Golgotha! This is the Place to be!
I wonder if this is how it felt to Peter and James and John as they stood on the Mount of Transfiguration watching their good buddy, Jesus, being literally transformed into a person they’d never seen before? Imagine that. A young carpenter from Nazareth morphing into a holy icon who glowed in the dark! Standing amongst Moses and Elijah. Bowing before the God of the Universe. No wonder God asked Moses to take off his dirty shoes. Nothing worse than squashing dirty, earthly grim into the pure and holy carpets of heaven.
I wonder if the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 134 experienced for himself what it was like to stand in the manifest presence of God? Back then; only one high priest could do such a thing only one time per year! I wonder if our Psalmist friend had that unique opportunity? Could be that this Psalm was written in the presence of the Almighty. Priests weren’t allowed much time to stand there, you know. Just a quick in and out. Perform your holy duties and then move on.
I wonder if the writer of Psalm 134 took just an extra moment or two to pull out a pen and paper and jot down this holy melody while he was standing in this holy place? Could be that this song was chosen as the closer for the Song of Ascents because it was actually written in the presence of God. Who knows?
God probably does. But He’s not telling.
Why? Because today, through the amazing work of reconciling sanctification done by Jesus Christ on the Cross, all of us are now invited to come into this same Holy of Holies. Oh yes, we still need to take off our dirty shoes and be very respectful of this holy place, but just think of it. Now, rather than assign a priest or pastor to go in my place, talking to God on my behalf, I now have a front row reserved seat in the awesome presence of Yahweh, the Holy King of the Universe!
Better get myself presentable. I hear my name being called. Gulp. Here I go.
Wow! I can hardly wait!
My prayer: Hello, Father. Thank You so very much for inviting me in here to sit with You today. Oh, and Jesus, thank You for buying my ticket to this Holy Place. I couldn’t have done this without You! And Holy Spirit. Thank You, so very much, for empowering me and indwelling me with Your presence so that my life is better prepared to walk into such a Holy Moment as this. I love You guys…the Holy Trinity…I really do! For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: The Songs of Ascent were sung by God’s people only three times per year. Only the high priest could enter into the Holy of Holies one time per year and even then, for just a fleeting moment. How have I overlooked the unique privilege that’s been given to me as a follower of Christ to step into the presence of God at any time, any moment, 24-7, 365? How can I better take full advantage of such an amazing opportunity?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?
Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Contemplative Activist network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
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