Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Advent – Week 1, Day 2

The reading for day 2 is Psalm 122, A song of degrees of David, which quite frankly sounds like a 5 percenter hip-hop album.

I am beginning to wonder about the symbolism of the city of Jerusalem in the Bible. Of course the Bible is rife with symbols posing for meaning that we often get ourselves in a lather over by reading literally. Jerusalem I think, is one of those. It should be noted that all the Psalms in the 120s are songs of degrees, all the way up to Psalm 134. So what are these degrees? Are they very literal degrees, as in directions for physical movement? The Psalm in question here is primarily concerned with the prosperity and peace of Jerusalem, about Jerusalem as the centerpiece or symbol of God’s love for us. “For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee (Jerusalem). Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good” If we are to be preparing for the miracle of the birth and preparing for the miracle of Jesus’ coming works, then it would appear that Jerusalem, the site of Jesus’ establishment must be prepared too. And so, Jerusalem is to world that existed then as the heart (soul maybe?) is to the body. There is a chance each year to use this time, to open ourselves to the possibility of miracle within us, to the possibility of God come into our midst and us into the midst of God. Jesus spoke that over and over until damn near the moment he died. Prepare yourself. Live as I do, so that you might be the site of miracle and wonder yourself. Psalm 122 suggests that the prophesies of the “coming” that all such prophesies are less about being ready to be taken up into some physical heaven per se, but about the fact that one has to be open to the possibility of goodness of God-ness (if we’re to push the etymological foundation here) if we are to achieve that heaven that oneness with the Father, that J.C. stayed trying to hip the Pharisees to.

Chicago is enjoying a bleak mid-western winter’s day today. I’ve got to prepare for the advent of these Westside youfs at Campos, is what I have to do. There is much madness to wade through to get to the goodness, the God in these youth. But clearly this is a topic for a different essay / different post.

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Anonymous John Davis said...

There are 15 Psalms grouped together (120-134) which are called "Psalm of Degree" or Psalm of Ascent," depending on your translator. These are believed to be so called because they were literally sung on pilgrimage during different festivals or by priests climbing the steps of the Temple in Jerusalem (hence the "ascents.")

10:38 AM  
Blogger Roger Bonair-Agard said...

thanks man. good looking out. so 'degrees' is like a physical designation. word

11:27 AM  

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