On my journey I shall pray and work for peace - 6 September 2018

Ewald Schmidt

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”… Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.” Psalm 122:1,6 (NIV)

One of the most basic needs of every person is to feel safe wherever he or she goes. In this Pilgrim Song the pilgrims sing a Song of Zion. These songs (Psalm 46, 48, 76, 84, 87 and 122), sing about Jerusalem, more specifically Mount Zion as the house of the Lord. In this song one pilgrim is calling upon his friends, fellow pilgrims, to rejoice in the Lord when they reach their destination. They are on a journey to reach the temple in Jerusalem, to worship the Lord together there.

Throughout history Jerusalem was known as a place of conflict. It is of such strategic importance, because the trade routes of three continents: Africa, Asia and Europe, converge there. Every emperor throughout history sought to control Israel, and so secure the control of these important trade routes. Jerusalem has seen its share of war and tears through more than three millennia of human history.

Despite this history of troubled times, pilgrims through the ages all had the desperate need to travel towards peaceful times, and a conflict-free destination. Throughout history this psalm has called upon believers to pray for peace in Jerusalem, and harmony between the people who gather or reside there. This call of Psalm 122 remains important to this day. There is still so much hate and violence between different groups of people claiming Jerusalem as their own. May there be peace in Jerusalem!

While we are praying for peace in Jerusalem, this is still a pilgrim’s song for our own spiritual journey. We may also use this psalm as the base for our prayers for peace where we live and work every day. In South Africa today, there is such a need for peace between different groups of people, calling this beautiful country our home. May friends and brothers also live in peace in our part of the world. May we, like the original pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem, inspire and call on each other to pray for peace in our time, in our land. When we are praying for such an important matter, we are called to be part of the answer to our prayers. We are called to be peacemakers where we travel on our journey of life.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, there is still so much hate and violence in this world around us. With the church of all times I want to pray for peace in Jerusalem. May there be rest in the homes and peace between the walls of Jerusalem. But not just for Jerusalem, Lord, I want to plead for your peace to change my part of the world too. Here I am, Lord, use me as a channel of your peace to the community where I live. Amen

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