Sunday, November 7, 2021

Psalm 127

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Today we remember those who we loved and who taught us the faith in Christ. It might have been your family members like parents or grandparents or friends, or Sunday school teachers for someone like me who was not raised in a Christian family… We remember by lighting candles, and we seek to follow what they’ve taught us as their descendants. In today’s scripture we hear the Israelites also sing the song, Psalm 127, to remember who they are, saying “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil, for he gives sleep to his beloved.”

Let’s see what it means to live on faith for them.

You must have heard these sayings. “God helps those who help themselves.”, “The early bird catches the worm.”, “No matter how hard you work, someone else is working harder.”, or “Much effort, much prosperity.” That is the culture where we live. We wake up early, go to bed late, work hard and worry even harder… because our society tells us that these will make us safer, stronger, and more successful. So we often misread that those things are even what God desires from us, our sweat, tears, tiredness…. Then it is easy for us to assume that everything depends on us. But, here Psalmist says something different by saying that your labor is in vain. Your work is

pointless unless it is the Lord who builds the house. You know it does not mean God is all in charge, so you don’t have to work hard. No. Think of our real life. You know we still have family to feed, exams to take, future to plan…. Of course we need to rise up early and stay up late and should get things done. What else can we do?

But what the Psalmist means is more about what are you building, and why are you building it? What are these all about, your work, productivity, and accomplishments?’