For many, moving to a different city or heading off to college for the first time can be an exciting time. Sure there’s anxieties from what’s to come and the uncertainty of how things might go, but life apart from the normal can be filled with hope and wonder as well.
But in God’s kingdom, living apart from the normalcy of worshiping him is a major disruption, for it puts his people in a world without him. Rather than being surrounded by those pursuing God’s way of life, they are found to be in the midst of those who live to make the world contrary to God’s character.
It’s not all that different today. Scripture even refers to God’s people as aliens exiled in a foreign land. Living in such a world brings with it many questions, not the least of which is “Will God answer me when I call?” In other words, when I live for God amongst a people who oppose him, is he the sort of God who will have my back and give me the sort of peace we are called to live for?”
These are some of the questions the psalmist reflected on in Psalm 120. As you read through it, ask yourself, “How might I live for peace in a contrary world?” Follow it up with, “How have I seen the Lord answer me in my distress?” Perhaps these will help you enter into the normalcy of this Sunday’s worship filled with hope and wonder.