Psalm 48

Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise,
    in the city of our God, his holy mountain.

Beautiful in its loftiness,
    the joy of the whole earth,
like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion,
    the city of the Great King.
God is in her citadels;
    he has shown himself to be her fortress.

When the kings joined forces,
    when they advanced together,
they saw her and were astounded;
    they fled in terror.
Trembling seized them there,
    pain like that of a woman in labour.
You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish
    shattered by an east wind.

As we have heard,
    so we have seen
in the city of the Lord Almighty,
    in the city of our God:
God makes her secure
    for ever.

Within your temple, O God,
    we meditate on your unfailing love.
10 Like your name, O God,
    your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
    your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Mount Zion rejoices,
    the villages of Judah are glad
    because of your judgments.

12 Walk about Zion, go round her,
    count her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
    view her citadels,
that you may tell of them
    to the next generation.

14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
    he will be our guide even to the end.

Yesterday was pink candle Sunday! In the Anglican tradition, we light a candle on each Sunday during advent, 3 are purple and one is pink. The pink candle is lit on Gaudete Sunday – the third in advent. Gaudete is Latin for rejoice and on this Sunday we enjoy readings that celebrate the joy of Jesus’ coming. Today’s psalm contains both ‘joy’ and ‘rejoice’ in response to God’s goodness to, and protection of his people. I wonder how much time we give to responding with joy to God’s goodness to us. Yes we live in a world that is in the pains of labour; but God is still present, still on the move and still fulfilling the promises that He has made. I want to posture my heart in an attitude of gratitude for all that He has already done and all that He will continue to do.

Questions for thought and discussion

  • Using today’s psalm as a starting point, spend a few minutes making a list of things to rejoice over.
  • How can we help our young people to live lives of joy? What would that look like?