Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Chosen to proclaim God’s Praises

“May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.”   Psalm 137:6

Psalm 137, which was written during the Babylonian exile of people of Israel, reflects the bitterness of their captivity, the intense longing they had for the city of Jerusalem and also their prayer for judgment of God upon their enemies.
Zion – representation of Kingdom of God
Israel, the redeemed people of God, has been given the promise of being a blessing and peculiar treasure unto God above all other nations, a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation. (Exodus 19:5-6).  Later Jerusalem, or the City of Zion, became a symbol of dwelling place of God and center of worship.  Songs of Zion like Psalms 48, proclaimed the beauty of Zion, its glory, joy and its security - a picture of Kingdom of God.
Exile – alienation from Zion experience:
The people of Israel in exile were the captives of their own sins, alienated from the Zion experience and from the purpose of God for them.   The songs of Zion lost their meaning for the Israelites in exile because the messages of the songs contradicted their experiences in captivity.  Jerusalem was in ruins and they were sitting by the rivers of Babylon, weeping.
Desire for Jerusalem- Hope of Restoration:
However their intense longing for Jerusalem reflects their repentance and desire to be back at the center of the worship where God is exalted and is in rule. Only with a restored Zion experience, could they find the true meaning and purpose of Israel to become a blessing for others and the joy for the whole world.
We, the redeemed in Christ are the chosen generation, royal priest hood, holy nation and His own special people to proclaim the praises of our Lord.  We are the City of God built on a mountain, the temple where Holy Spirit dwells and called to sing of the beauty and glory of His Kingdom.  However our message and songs may become meaningless to the world if we contradict the message we carry and are not truly walking in the Kingdom experience. On the other side, being at the center of God’s will, our songs will exalt the one who redeemed us, regardless of the circumstances we go through. Paul and Silas were able to sing songs of Zion even behind the prison bars which brought others in to Zion experience.  As we fulfill the purpose of God in our lives, may we be a living example to reflect the beauty of Zion, the dwelling place of the Almighty God.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we commit our lives to live in the true Zion experience and sing meaningful songs to proclaim your glory.
Thought for the Day:  “Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine, till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me”  - Albert Orsborn
Live in Truth, Leave the Sin and Love the Spirit

Abey Cherian, St. Thomas MTC, NY.