Jerusalem and Liturgical Traditions – Psalms 122

Jerusalem and Liturgical Worship - Psalms 122I jumped back into daily Bible reading today – only to find a short, rather confusing passage. I’ll list it in its entirety since it’s so short:

1 I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” 2 Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem. 3 Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together. 4 That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to praise the name of the Lord according to the statute given to Israel. 5 There the thrones for judgment stand, the thrones of the house of David.

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. 7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” 8 For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.

See what I mean? Not much there. When in doubt, I turn to Matthew Henry’s Commentary. Here’s what he has to add:

This psalm seems to have been penned by David for the use of the people of Israel, when they came up to Jerusalem to worship at the three solemn feasts. It was in David’s time that Jerusalem was first chosen to be the city where God would record his name. It being a new thing, this, among other means, was used to bring the people to be in love with Jerusalem, as the holy city, though it was but the other day in the hands of the Jebusites.

This passage makes me wonder about the “solemn feasts” of David’s time. There is such rich tradition in the Jewish culture. David wrote this Psalm to be used to emphasize the spiritual significance of the holy city of Jerusalem.

It got me thinking about my personal worship style. I’ve never been much for liturgy or ritual. As a matter of fact, the circles I used to run in were very opposed to anything that seemed liturgical…almost militant. However, over the years, I’ve come to appreciate and love some of the recent liturgical moments I’ve experienced. My family is not one that has too many “traditions” throughout the year, but I’ve admired some of the annual traditions I’ve seen some families participate in that bring meaning and belonging into the family…and I’m not just talking about Catholic friends.

I was wondering if any of my readers have any special family traditions they participate in and would be willing to share in a comment? Do you or does someone you know have any special yearly traditions? How about special liturgical worship experiences you’d like to share?

grace & peace,
e

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