Our youngest daughter and family live in Norway. I’ve never been to Norway, never particularly had it on my list of places to visit until, of course, we found out that their first baby was going to be born.
Bob and I have found that grandchildren have a certain unequaled pull.
They have sent us beautiful photos of Scandinavian countryside—what a marvelous place on the globe with their fjords and waterfalls, and not a little snow. Naturally, none of that can hold a candle to the little bundle and her parents that will outshine it all. And as much as I love pictures and video chats, it’s never the same as being there for myself, as with our first grandchild, when we could caress that little one ourselves and gaze into her occasionally waking and alert eyes.
So I kinda “get” what the writer of this psalm is thinking when he penned this:
Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem.
Walk around and count the many towers.
Take note of the fortified walls,
and tour all the citadels,
that you may describe them
to future generations.
For that is what God is like…
I don’t think this is merely talking about taking a trip to the Holy Land, as cool as that would be with all the ancient ruins and history and such. This is an invitation to the world to come see God’s reality, and it is to be reflected in the church. Not the church building, for that is as impermanent as those now ancient ruins of Jerusalem were about to become in the day this psalm was written. Instead, we are to “take note” for ourselves the Universe of God, not just the visible one He created, but the eternal one.
And it seems that the only effective way to take note of it is to go there, personally, experiencing the relationship with God and seeing/experiencing the church as He means for it to be. (Read: not as it is frequently portrayed by His children still under construction.) Which is a challenge for all who claim to discount Christ because of His people’s imperfections. No, each individual is called to come and “tour all the citadels” for themselves. It takes time and effort and not a little reallocation of resources…
…but after the long plane ride, there is Someone even more beautiful than a grandchild waiting to gaze into your eyes.
Psalm 48:12-14 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.