Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Journey to Jerusalem: Lift Up My Eyes

The Journey to Jerusalem is an up hill journey. No matter which direction you come from in Israel, Jerusalem is a city built on a hill surrounded on all sides by valley. For those who built Jerusalem, being situated on a hill top was a great defensive strategy. Attacking armies would have to cross over the valleys and then climb up the hill to the walled city.

Theologically it meant the temple in Jerusalem was also built on the hill -- often called the "temple mount". On the Journey to Jerusalem pilgrims to the temple must ascend the hill. There is a whole section of the Psalms called the Psalms of Ascent, Psalm 120-134. They cover a whole range of human emotion; these psalms would be sung, recited, prayed on the pilgrims climb up to Jerusalem.

Psalm 123
To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
until he has mercy upon us.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than its fill
of the scorn of those who are at ease,
of the contempt of the proud.
O Lord,
to you
I lift up
my eyes.
For too long have I my eyes
studied my feet in shame.
I lift my face to you.
Daring to look in your eyes
expecting to see disappointment,
I am surprised to see delight --
love, mercy, laughter --

You know don't you.
You understand.
For the first time ever,
I see it now.
In the eyes of Jesus,
I see my eyes.
In the hurts of Jesus,
I see my hurts.
In the laughter of Jesus,
I hear my own voice.
You know. You do.
You understand.

That's what the whole
coming to earth in flesh and blood was about.
You wanted us to know
that you know,
I mean really KNOW.
Emmanuel -- God is with us.
God is ONE of us.

So when I pray,
you get it.
When I falter and fail,
you understand.
When I do amazing things,
you cheer with me!

I see it now in your eyes.
Then you invite me to keep walking,
and you walk beside me
not ahead, nor behind,
but right beside me --
a companion on the way.
Thank you, Jesus.

At Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church, we are committing to journey the 6,150 miles from Elizabethtown, NC to Jerusalem, Israel in our walking, running, swimming, cycling, etc.

Track your miles, share them here, and join us on the Journey to Jerusalem.

We will post those miles online and on our banners in the sanctuary and in our fellowship building. Together we will make our journey to Jerusalem!

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