Over many years, and many such journeys, they had learned the words, the accompanying tunes, the actions and reactions programmed into the event. With dignity and precision they sang and danced their way to worship. Woven into the rituals were their feelings of excitement and joy, their assurance that God was there, waiting for them, that He might bless them when they came before Him.
King David (vv. 1-5) was determined to find a place for God within his nation, among his people, that they might come there to worship Him. He made a pledge that this was his one priority. Part two (vv. 6-10) spreads the word to all who will hear, that they are to go with joy to gather together before God’s priests, in worship. “The Lord has chosen Zion” (vs.13) affirms that this is all clothed in the vows between God and David, reflecting, as stated elsewhere, that “He would be their God, and they would be his people” (Leviticus 26:10).
The focus then moves from David to God, from the Old Testament God to the promised Messiah, our Savior and Lord. He will wear the crown and the people will be strong and joyous in their response.
We come, many centuries later, not on foot, travelling to Jerusalem, not to an earthly king, but to the King of Kings, who is with us. “Where two or three come together in my Name,” He has promised, “there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).
Mathew’s Gospel concludes with the words of Christ at the end of his earthly visit: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (28:20). Wherever the place, whenever the time, whatever the occasion, we make our way to God through Christ, with praise and joy, with enthusiasm and delight – just as the pilgrims from David’s day had done! Let us praise this ever-present God of all the ages! Amen!
- Russell Petrie
Grace River: A Life-Giving Church, Claremont and their pastor David Crosby
United Church of Colchester and their pastor Joshua Steely
Region Staff: Joy Choquette, Assistant for Communications and Development