Singing God’s Song in a Strange Land

“How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” (Ps. 137:4 NAKJ).

Sometimes I feel like I am lost and alone. I am one who can be lost in a crowd of people and experience feelings of isolation. Thoughts like, “If these people really knew me, they would head for the hills.” I stand there, trapped, and unable to get out of the room. I must stay and continue to be pleasant.

My guess is that many of us know what it is like to feel displaced. We go through the motions to simply fulfill our obligations so that we can return back to a place of refuge. Our spirits long to find places where we can be our real selves. This search for full acceptance is difficult to do in a world that is more concerned with maintaining the status quo than being authentic.

The people in exile felt the same way. How could they wholeheartedly worship without a place to call home? Their temple, the center of their worship, was in ruins, and now they find themselves in an area that offers no support to connect with the Most-High God. They reach a spiritual crisis at a time when they need the surety of God’s presence.

Perhaps in this moment of trial, God guides his chosen ones to find the answer to their question. Maybe the secret to worship is not looking for an outside place to fill gaps, but within our very souls, we carry the temple within us. The secret chambers of our hearts are where the Holy One dwells among us. This very sacred space is where we begin our journey.

I hope to remember when I am in places of uncertainty, that the temple of God resides in me. That means I am not alone. I can still sing God’s songs in what I consider a “strange land.” My faith requires authenticity, and so a room appearing unfamiliar and distant is a good starting point to share the Good News of Christ. By sharing, I mean letting the light shine from deep within our souls. And if needed, use words.

Published by joekmac

I am a pastor in the United Methodist Tradition. I am the Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Belen in the New Mexico Annual Conference. I am married to Cazandra and have two sons with hemophilia.

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