As the psalmist proclaims being “cut free from the cords of the wicked,” we, as followers of Christ, know even when oppressed and vexed by evil, evil’s oppression is not a permanent state in which we live. God is a God of deliverance and has the last word and act. I think of the people, the faithful proceeding up the temple mount, cognizant of their wounds and losses, conscious of those who hate them, and relinquishing those things in a journey of worship and a proclamation of faith.
I wonder if the very procession to worship is a statement to a hostile world that God is faithful despite all the circumstances of time and place. And there is this appeal to God, I think a trusting appealing, for the intervention of God’s judgment on those who would oppress His people.
And then there is the picture of Christ, trudging up the hill with a furrowed back, releasing Himself into his Father’s hand. And the triune God intervenes with both grace and judgment. And I wonder if the furrowed back sung about on the temple mount is looking forward to the furrowed back of Christ?
Is gathering for worship, the trusting and celebrating that we have already been delivered even when we don’t feel so?
- Dale Edwards
First Baptist Church, Candia and their pastor Barbara Sander
United Community Church, Canterbury and their interim pastor William Donoghue
Cavendish Baptist Church and their pastor Abraham Gross