“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord of heavenly forces! My very being longs, even yearns, for the Lord’s courtyards. My heart and my body will rejoice out loud to the living God.” Psalm 84:1-2
“Better is a single day in your courtyards than a thousand days anywhere else.” Psalm 84:10a
These verses have inspired countless worship songs. As I read the words, melodies play in my head and I find myself singing. The words invite me into worship and I find myself dancing as I seek communion with the Sacred Other.
Using pilgrim imagery, the writer speaks of Jerusalem, God’s throne on earth. The psalmist recalls the splendor of the Temple and invites the reader to tarry in the magnificence of it all. Israel has been longing, even yearning since Jerusalem’s destruction. Remembering “glory days” infuses hope into the present journey as listeners imagine a day when all is once again right and Jerusalem is restored.
As pilgrims we long to be a part of an age where God is at work. We want to have epiphanies and benchmark theophany. We desire God’s kingdom to be at hand and we desperately seek to be God’s hands and feet. More than anything we want our lives to be God’s throne on earth, a temple for the Sacred Other. We want the “glory days” to inspire us to be bold and courageous as we infuse hope into the present journey.
I don’t think it is coincidental that this psalm begins with worship. As we lose ourselves in worship, the Sacred Other calls us to justice and restoration as we imagine a day when all is once again right and “Jerusalem” is restored. Fueled by our worship we act, bringing our longing, even our yearning, to fruition as God Kingdom comes on earth.