July 1, 2021
My Own Mt. Zion
Psalm 48 CEB
The Lord is great and so worthy of praise
Joy of the whole earth
God revealing himself as a place of safety
The kings advancing were stunned
They panicked and ran - hence, safety
Let Mt. Zion be glad, rejoice in your justice
Walk around Zion, examine her
Tell future generations
“This is God, our God, forever and always!
He is the one who will lead us even to the very end.”
In Psalm 48, the author extols the beauty of Mt. Zion, the city of the great King. This is the poetic title for the city of Jerusalem. The author tells of how awesome the city looks as it sits on the summit, and because of its fortifications and infrastructure it is perfectly situated to be a place of safety to its inhabitants. It intimidates foreign intruders and sends them in retreat. Jerusalem is a joy to the people who live there or travel there to worship. The author encourages people to examine Jerusalem and rejoice in her justice. He wants future generations to know of her greatness because God is there and will be with them to the end.
I’ve never been to Jerusalem, but I can identify with having strong feelings for a place and finding a connection to God there.
Over the course of the past year, as I’ve spent more time at home than ever, I am learning to appreciate my own surroundings. I can agree with the Psalmist that “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised” from the porch of my house, looking to the mountains and green pastures that surround my small realm. I have learned to find joy in the simple pleasures of watching a pair of wrens feed their babies in the nest they built in my flowerpot. I sit in awe when the wind kicks up before a big storm passes through, and I feel its power. I listen to the great variety of birds that sing in the trees and bushes surrounding my home and remember that Jesus said that he cares for me more than the birds. I’ve smiled at rainbows that have appeared in brilliant colors that remind me of God’s grace.
Like the Psalmist, I find my home to be a place of safety. But beyond that I find that the beauty of nature that surrounds me puts the boundless creativity and artistry of God the creator on display.
Wendell Berry, a writer, farmer and environmentalist, has written much about place and land. He says, “And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet and learn to be at home.”
May we learn to be at home, and find God is there, in all His glory.
Almighty Father, we praise you for the wonders of our world. Your creation humbles us in our smallness and lifts you up as the awesome God you are. Thank you for reminding us in all the small things that surround us that you are our God and that you love us so much. Amen