Monday, March 9, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, March 15, 2015

Psalm 137:  1-2, 3, 4-5, 6  (Read)

“How could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?”

This Sunday's Psalm is a prayer of the Jewish people 
in exile in Babylon.  As Sunday's 1st reading tells us,
the Lord became angry with the people of Judah
because of their many infidelities.  (2 Chronicles 36:14-16)
And when they mocked the messenger of God,
God allowed them to be carried off to Babylon as slaves.
“By the rivers of Babylon, we sat mourning and weeping.”

But God's chosen people could not forget Jerusalem
and the covenant God had made with them.  “If I forget 

you Jerusalem, may my right hand wither.  May my tongue 
stick to my palate  if I do not remember you.”   And more 
important, God did not forget them.

It is the same way with us.  We sin against God and He 

allows us to be carried off into a kind of self imposed exile,
where we separate ourselves from Him for a time.

“How could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?”
When our hearts are hardened by sin, how can we sing 

a song of the Lord?   When we are in the darkness because 
we prefer the darkness, how can we sing a song of the Lord?
When we are separated from the Lord and indulging in things 

of the world, how can we sing a song of the Lord?
It is only when we are in the light,  then can we sing a song 

of the Lord.

As Sunday’s 2nd reading tells us, “Even when we are dead in our 

transgressions, God brings us to life with Christ.” (Ephesians 2:5)

And the Gospel reminds us in a powerful way that although we 

are a wicked people who hate the light, God sent His Son not to 
condemn us, but to save us and lead us into the light. (John 3: 17-21)
That is how we free ourselves from our own spiritual exile.
It is only when we are in the light, when we become a light unto 

the world, then can we sing a song of the Lord!


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  This Sunday's Psalm Response is,
"Let my tongue be silenced, 

if I ever forget you!"  When you are separated from God because of sin, 
have you noticed how it becomes difficult to praise and worship Him?  
In a way your tongue becomes silenced for a time.  Explain how you 
can get your voice back and start again singing a song of the Lord.

2.  Our psalmist tells us that it was difficult for the Jewish people captive 

in Babylon to sing the songs of Zion in a foreign land. Is it sometimes 
difficult for you to speak of your faith in the company of non-believers?    
If you are being persecuted by a world that does not acknowledge you 
as one of its own, how do you overcome your reticence and speak boldly 
of your faith?


  1. When I read Psalm 137, the Israelites have repeatedly sinned against God. Their infidelities bring them toward doom and destruction. But God's chosen people could not forget the covenant God had made with them. They, exiled in Babylon, sat and wept over the bitterness of captivity. And what happened ?

    It is almost the same with a wicked people like us, who still believe in God's promise. But even when we are still in the darkness of exile due to our worldly pleasures and in our transgressions, God brings us to life in Christ. He gives us His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, because He loves this world so much.

    How can I sing a song of the Lord ? It is hard for me to sing the praise of the Lord when my heart is hardened by sin, and whenever I sin, I repent and I weep. His light shines upon me. My repentance brings me a right relationship with God. Once again He puts a new song in my mouth. I can sing and praise Him.

    Jesus is my savior and my highest joy. I will always ask for His protection from the grip of evil. And I call for the Holy Spirit to lead me in the right way so that I won't stumble and fall over and over again.

  2. J Kim5:16 PM

    As I sat down to write a comment this week, numerous distractions plagued me. Phone calls. Internet connectivity issues. Time constraints. Why was it so difficult?

    Sometimes, we create our own "foreign land" by resisting what we know is important to do and then allowing every physical concern to become an excuse. Our voices are then rendered powerless whether they be verbal or written. Our hearts want to be one with Jesus, but the world tempts us away until there is a rift. We cannot use our voices again until we cross that rift back into the arms of Jesus.

    How do I redirect myself back? The Lord showed me two verses, which say the same thing: "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him," from Psalm 37:7 and Psalm 46:10 -- "Be still, and know that I am God." One came to me in a devotional and the other through a little medallion, given to me by a friend this week. The answer for me is to slow down and be still before the Lord. That is the only way to render my voice strong and joyful once again.