Today I looked to my favorite translation of the Psalms for inspiration.* Sometimes it only takes a word and sometimes more is demanded in order to find in print or in my own mind or heart something worthwhile to say.
Psalm 122 speaks of Jerusalem as the seat of God’s kingdom. Unfortunately, this “city of peace” has been and remains a city of tension and a seat of struggle – sometimes open warfare – rather than a place that all people of faith can happily call their own. This morning, however, I found a second alternate translation that made it possible to see Jerusalem as a place for us all, as “an interior reality” where commentary names it “a reality of the heart that …has the opportunity to extend itself throughout the physical and temporal world.”
Why not try this? Consider your heart as the “City of God” and read the following with that consciousness. You are the city of God, the pulsing heart, the center of this place of peace. Read it aloud.
With joy I arose and went into your house when called to the worship of your name. I entered and now stand singing with all those gathered to worship and adore you. Your holy name becomes for us a blessed city, a place of peace that draws us deeper in where people of every tongue and race rise up before the presence of your face to know and love the God of peace as one. So in this hallowed space and ground, your judgment and your rule of love, becomes for us a kingdom. And may that kingdom come, your peace be done over all the the earth, we pray. Within the inner walls of heart and soul, and on the outer towers of human being, may peace descend, and be for everyone a fortress and a keep where nothing evil enters in. And this we pray now for the good of all, for all who are your house, your dwelling place forever. (*Ancient Songs Sung Anew, p. 318)