Monday, April 30, 2012

Pilgrimage to Jerusalem

What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem. Psalm 84: 4-7 NLT

A pilgrimage to Jerusalem is a holy experience. These days, you would not walk all the way there as the psalmist would have known. However, you would certainly walk within the city when you arrived.

I am not certain where the valley of weeping is but it most likely would be in the area around the city. The city is on a hill surrounded by valleys. This particular valley may be referring to where Rebecca's nurse, Deborah, was buried as she was buried in a place named Oak of Weeping. The point for the psalmist is that there would be no crying. Rather, the pilgrim would find refreshment, knowing that they were so close to the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem. Instead of weariness, the pilgrim would be strengthened with joy.

Do you experience joy as you approach your place of worship? Or do you find yourself weeping instead? Are you refreshed even as you journey to the sanctuary or are you filled with dread?

God, give us renewal and joy as we come to worship you in your sanctuary. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2012 Amelia G. Sims

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