Sunday, May 14, 2017
Have Pity On Its Dust
Psa. 102:12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
your name endures to all generations.
13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to favor it;
the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants hold its stones dear,
and have pity on its dust.
The timing of this Psalm is unknown. Some would like to claim that it has to do with the return from exile, but others would argue that simply doesn’t quite fit the narrative. However, we do recognize that it is at a time when Jerusalem is struggling against her enemies. In the midst of that struggle the people of God remain strong in their reliance upon the LORD who is on the throne.
There is the hope of compassion and mercy which is bestowed upon God’s people who still love and revere Jerusalem. Even if the city lies in ruins, they will hold its stones dear and have pity on the dust. These phrases articulate the love and devotion which remains for Jerusalem, even when she lies in ruin.
Most commentators take this Psalm and relate it to the contemporary church. No longer is the Psalm about the physical city of Jerusalem but it becomes a prayer for the body of Christ; for those who will inhabit the new Jerusalem. It could also be a prayer about the contemporary state of the church. We are finding ourselves in interesting days which some may find troublesome. We are living on the shifting sands of time where change is coming quickly. The church may not look the same as it always has but there are eternal truths to which we must and should cling. The Lord does remain enthroned forever. The one who rules the kingdom has been and currently does continue to rule and in God we place our hope and trust.
God’s grace continues to reach out in times of distress. The grace and mercy of God envelopes the church with love, for this is God’s church, and not our church. Remember, Jesus told Peter that he, Jesus, would build the church. Far too often we think that it is our responsibility to build the church or the church’s enterprises on our own. We have the strategic plans and we think that we know how to do it all better. That’s not God’s intention. We are to relax and allow the Lord to open the doors for us to become the people of God in the way in which God intended.
We are to hold the stones dear and have pity on the very dust of the church. This is not about the physical structure nor the organization of the church, but about the living stones who make up the body of Christ. We are to love and have pity on the very poorest member of the church. We are to hold dear the one who has been gone from the church for years but just may, at some time, return. We are to love the newest convert who seems ignorant of the Scriptures and what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Everyone should be precious in our sight because we are a part of the new Jerusalem and in the Jerusalem of old, even the rubbish was held dear. Now, even those who may seem unhelpful or unable within the kingdom should be loved and shown mercy.
When we have pity upon the dust of the new Jerusalem, we reflect the love of Jesus Christ to our world. We do not fret if the organized church seems to be struggling for we are called to be the living stones of the church. There is much to love and much to hold dear. We do not give up but continue to show love and have pity on its dust. In doing so we become partners in the kingdom work of Christ and in building up the new Jerusalem.
Lord, please help me to love the very dust in your kingdom . Amen.