Let Us Go to the House of the Lord

2021-03-14 – Year B – Lent 4 – The Rev. Canon Christopher Klukas
2 Chronicles 36:14-23; Psalm 122; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 6:1-15

  • Entering Jerusalem – going “up”
  • Psalm 122, a Song of Ascents
    • Three “pilgrimage festivals”: Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles
    • Psalm 122 would be sung at the arrival in Jerusalem “now our feet are standing” and just before going to the temple “We will go into the house of the Lord.
    • This would be sung with joy and gladness (v. 1).
  • Entering the Holy Sepulcher for the first time
  • We can get a sense of the feeling these pilgrims had as we enter the church for worship. Perhaps especially when you come back for the first time.

The Peace of Jerusalem

  • Most of this psalm is not about the Temple but the Temple’s city.
    • In fact, it was written before the Temple was built.
  • Psalm 122, “of David”
  • David is the one who established Jerusalem as his capital city (2 Sam 5:6-10)
    • He also brought the Tabernacle to Jerusalem (2 Sam 6:1-4)
  • David’s reign was a time of unity, bringing the tribes together as a nation
  • This unity would not last for long.
    • The Kingdom split after the death of Solomon (1 Kings 12:16–20)
    • Solomon was not faithful to the Lord, he took many foreign wives and concubines and they turned his heart away from the Lord (1 Kings 11:4)
    • 1 Kings 11:9–13 – God’s judgment on Solomon.
  • It only gets worse from that point on.

Destruction and Deslolation

  • 2 Chronicles 36:14–16
    • The Lord gave warning after warning, but the people wouldn’t listen.
  • Lest we look down on the Israelites, let us point the finger at ourselves.
    • Just like the sins of Israel caused them to be cut off from the land that was promised to them and the temple where God had promised to dwell among them, so also our sins have caused us to be cut off from God.

Restoration and Renewal – A Present and Future Hope

  • But there was hope grounded in the promises of the Lord – Jeremiah 29:10–13
  • God brings the people back just as he promised – 2 Chronicles 36:22-23
    • Not just the Land, but the Temple was to be rebuilt and funded by the King who formerly held God’s people captive. This brought glory to God.
    • The people would once again be able to say “We will go into the house of the Lord.” with gladness in their hearts.
  • God can bring restoration and renewal to you as well.
    • Where are you experiencing despair and desolation in your life right now?
      • Jeremiah 29:10–13
    • So many people are scared to enter a church. They know they need God, but they think they have to clean up their lives before they can darken the door of a church to find him.
    • You don’t have to “do” anything to receive this gift, but when you do God will change you.
    • Ephesians 2:4-6 – God saved us “even when we were dead in our trespasses”
    • This is not the end but the beginning of a life lived with God in his kingdom.
  • But there is even more…the New Jerusalem – Revelation 21:1–4
    • Sandra McCracken on We Will Feast in the House of Zion “This song propels me forward, into the heart of the promises of God, giving a glimpse of the vision to see what God sees—the final resolution of all things. And it does this with a corporate point of view, inviting us to sing together as a people, to share one voice in loss and life together under the banner of God’s redeeming love.”
    • “Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed, You are the faithful one.
      And from the garden to the grave, bind us together bring shalom.”

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