Desire: how does one invoke desire in another? Even a bothersome swallow and a simple, common sparrow has evoked jealousy in the heart of the songwriter. The long road leading to Jerusalem has evoked praise and desire in the heart of this pilgrim. The sight of the city on the hill (Zion and the temple) causes singing in this worshiper.
Psalm 84 (NLT)
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
2 I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the LORD.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
4 What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.
I’m not quite sure if I liked Christa first or if she liked me first but there was a relational drawing close and pulling away. Always testing and checking to see if she really liked me or if I cherished her. It’s a picture of how we’ve been drawn into loving God and being a pursuer of his river of delights.
I’ve been thinking about how Psalm 84 is a forerunner message to people who do not yet know Christ. Those of us who feel the pleasure of being near to Jesus and the pressure of the imminent return of Christ can struggle to find language that draws others into this life of prayer, worship and devotion.
Forerunner messengers can easily take an apologetic or adversarial approach in bringing the Good News but I wonder if we can take a lesson from this songwriter? How can going to the prayer room be good news? How can a fasted lifestyle be a delight? Why would anyone sign up to be an intercessor?
To me, it’s about wooing and bragging.
The best part of the Jesus life is Jesus. Christian discipline and theology is boring, hard and terrible – it’s even worse if you don’t like Jesus. To speak of Jesus and being with him is my desire. I’d like to change the goal of evangelism (being a forerunner messenger) from whatever we’ve used previously to speaking honestly of Jesus. His parables are great stories, his healing stories are relevant, his activity in my life is dramatic.
Jesus is not a nice thought, his temple isn’t a philosophical idea and his return will be real to every person who’s ever lived. What if instead of trying to convince or win people for Christ, we just speak of Jesus.
Song of Solomon 6
Young Women of Jerusalem
1 Where has your lover gone,
O woman of rare beauty?
Which way did he turn
so we can help you find him?
(couldn’t help it, had to draw on the Song of Songs)
Perhaps, some will be smitten with desire for Jesus as we are. We’re not so far down the road that others cannot join us. In fact, our expression of following Jesus is exactly what many are looking for.
So, what’s your favorite story of Jesus? Your favorite parable?