Week Beginning Sunday 4th February 2018
On a number of occasions during the year, such as Passover, Jews were expected to make the journey up to Jerusalem. For safety and mutual encouragement they would often travel in families or groups from the same village. One such occasion is recorded in Luke’s Gospel chapter 2, when Jesus accompanied his parents to the Passover Celebration.
Just as coachloads of travellers nowadays might sing on the journey, these Jews would have sung Psalms – and they can be found in the book of Psalms today. We shall read a few of them this week.
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem
1 How joyful are those who fear the Lord—
all who follow his ways!
2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labour.
How joyful and prosperous you will be!
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine,
flourishing within your home.
Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees
as they sit around your table.
4 That is the Lord’s blessing
for those who fear him.
5 May the Lord continually bless you from Zion.
May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.
6 May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.
May Israel have peace!
V 1. How joyful are those who fear the Lord — all who follow his ways!
It is easy to read about, and even to know, God’s joyful way for life; the key to experiencing his joy however is to follow his way. Knowledge is woefully inadequate. These pilgrims who were climbing the road towards Jerusalem had to keep putting one foot in front of the other – it was an uphill footslog, but the celebration they looked forward to made it all worthwhile.
Keep following as you footslog through the coming week whatever it holds.