The people who sing this Psalm imagine a world of peace and security, one filled with hope because they believe God, whom they are pilgrimaging to encounter in Jerusalem, has the power to make it so. Can you imagine a world like the one the people pray for? You might read this psalm and think it overly optimistic and naively wishful to think that peace and security and justice could be a reality for everyone in our world today. All we need to do is click on any news source or drive up and down the streets of our towns to get a full dose of the injustice, inequity, and insecurity that plague our existence. It’s true, there is uncertainty in this world, but as the people of God we believe that in the arrival of Jesus Christ, God entered our world to give us hope and show us the way to peace and justice and security. So our Advent prayer pierces through the tension between our broken reality and what we long to see happen. We echo the psalmist, ‘May there be peace, Lord, may justice prevail. Come and make it so Lord.’ As people of the resurrection, may it begin with us, and may we point people to Jesus.
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
Our feet are standing
in your gates, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built like a city
that is closely compacted together.
That is where the tribes go up—
the tribes of the Lord—
to praise the name of the Lord
according to the statute given to Israel.
There stand the thrones for judgment,
the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.