Daily Word of Grace # 55 (June 1, 2020)

The Old Testament Book of Psalms includes a section called “Psalms of Assent” (120 through 134).  These psalms were recited and sung by the Israelites as they ascended the road to Jerusalem for annual feasts such as Passover.  These brief and theologically loaded psalms include these perspective adjusting words: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.  Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved” (Psalm 127:1-2).  The builder of the house is the Lord, not you.  After Peter correctly identified Jesus as “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” Jesus assured him, “On this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:16, 18).  The builder of the church is the Lord, not you.  In these times of continued anxiety and stress, when the foundations of houses and churches are being shaken, it is a relief to remember who the Builder actually is.  Jesus and his disciples likely recited and sung Psalm 127 during their final ascent to Jerusalem before Jesus’ passion and death as the Passover “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  In his passion, death, and resurrection Jesus indeed built the house, built the church “with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20).  This is a relief for those losing sleep over the building  of the house and church, and replaces “the bread of anxious toil” with the Bread of Life (John 6:35).

Love and Prayers,