To have a good journey, travel light - 26 September 2018

Ewald Schmidt

For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song. Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.” Psalm 65:1-4 (NIV)

We are exploring our lives as a pilgrimage. Psalm 65 is not one of the recognised songs of ascent in the Psalms, but it contains some truths that are helpful in our discovery of the journey of life as a pilgrimage.

When you depart on a pilgrimage, it is so important to pack lightly. If you have to carry your luggage by yourself, then every gram counts a lot, especially when the days are long and tiring. This song of David describes people on a journey, who reach their destination at the temple - sounds like a song of ascent to me! On this journey there is baggage that keeps heaping up, which eventually brings our journey to a grinding halt. David calls this baggage our transgressions. We see the same image in Hebrews 12:1 where our lives are described as a race. In this race we get entangled by sin, and it makes it more difficult to reach our finish line. Sin has the ability to wreak havoc on our relationships. We were created to live in relation to God, and to our fellow man. Sin, or transgression, is keeping us from good relationships.

When on a pilgrimage you become aware that your load is too heavy, you learn to dispose of excess baggage without hesitation. It is such a relief when your backpack weighs a lot less! How do we translate that to the journey of life? When we become aware of transgressions entangling us, stealing our joy in life, we need to run to the Lord with it. When we confess our sin, God will free us from it. He loves to forgive us, and to set us free. It is his will that we are free, and that we will have the boldness to approach him for his blessings in our lives. He loves to shower us with good things, David sings. In our relationship with God we are called to freedom, and we are blessed when we live in God’s courts.

Prayer: Lord, you have come to set us free. But through our own transgressions we get entangled in the snares of sin. Please help me to get rid of all the excess baggage in my life, lighten my load, that I can walk the path of life with joy. Thank you for your mercy, truly setting me free to follow you! Amen.


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