Text: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.’ For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’ For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.”
Scripture: Psalm 122:6-9
I remember teaching a Vacation Bible School and trying to teach our children about Jesus’ command to love our enemies. They didn’t get it. “Why would you do them?” They asked incredulously. “What about bullies? Why should we love them when they are so mean to everyone?” “Does this include my little brother?” Another asked. The very nature of this commandment seemed to be a strange concept for their minds to fathom. But the rest of their world, they saw no division where there was difference, just a new friend to learn from.
This Psalm of David is a well wish of peace reminds me of that summer day teaching the kids. Not because David here is speaking these beautiful words to his known enemies, but because he could be, someday. He wrote this prayer not knowing what the future of Jerusalem held. He might not always agree with those in Jerusalem. Someday, they may even be his enemies. The day may come when he doesn’t want good for those within the city walls, or those in the towers.
That’s what makes this blessing so pure and simple and good. David offers a prayer of peace for all time, to those in a city and a place that he hopes God will continue to bless.
In our current landscape of divisive rhetoric, we are pulled towards making allegiances and loyalties and in so doing drawing lines and looking at one another from across that invisible but palpable line. Some days we look across and question. Other days we shout and judge. Few days, however, we look across and share a prayer for peace. Few days we earnestly say I hope you experience good.
This Psalm is a return to the goodness with which humans were created and the sincerity with which God equipped his leaders; leaders like David. Today as I can watch the battle through the browsing of tweets or the switching of stations, I choose the Psalm. I choose this prayer for peace.
Focus: Peace and good for all
Prayer: God help us to have the heart to echo the psalmists words. Help us to seek and desire peace and good for all of your children.