Don’t you just love the books written by J.R.R. Tolkien?
It is hard to pin point exactly why many of us are absolutely enthralled with the literary genus of his work… it’s not just the writing style, which is exquisite, but perhaps it could be the themes within the writing … For me, I love the sense of community, camaraderie and friendship between characters; for you it could be the drama of good versus evil; but maybe for both of us, it is the joy of life, optimism and hope driving the characters to carry on despite impossible odds for a positive outcome… If you haven’t read his works, are looking for adventure or lack courage in the midst of your struggle, it will help.
One of my favorite parts in the book, The Hobbit is when the hobbits, human little people, sing traveling songs as they go. I too, love to sing while traveling, especially on road trips. To the chagrin of my family, I can go strong for more than 8 or 9 hours. I know singing in the car is not quite the same as journeying to save the world as in the books, yet it must be innate for humans to like to sing in the going.
In the bible, there are 15 lovely traveling songs called the Songs of Ascent. They are Psalms 120—134. Even to this day, there are those who sing them as they travel to worship. Originally, the Songs of Ascent were sung by those ascending up a mountain while journeying on pilgrimage. These psalms were well suited to be sung as they are short, mostly cheerful, poetic, and all give hope. In fact, in my last post, Psalms 121 was the theme. It is my favorite Song of Ascent, although, Psalms 123 is very similar.
In this season of life, I find myself drawn to Psalms 123. As I turn my gaze from the struggle of the climb- an ascent that winds and exhausts me, to the Almighty, enthroned in heaven, and I am refreshed. “To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!”
Christ, Isa al massih, told us that God is our Abba Father, who art in heaven (Matthew 6: 9). This statement is the ultimate paradox, a perfect balance between the nearness of God and the supremacy of God. With family-like intimacy, Christ encourages us to address God as Abba, Daddy, and yet God still remains the transcendent God always to be approached in awe and reverence.
“To deism, God is distant and out of reach; to pantheism, God is everything and everything is God, to the sentimentalist, God is “the man upstairs”. But to Christ, God is none of this. He is Father and He is God, ever near and ever to be held in reverence” (Clark).
The term Daddy is the epitome of trust. A child trusts His father. This tender and respectful love is what we should feel for God and was the point for Christ’s usage. But more than this, the focus of the statement can provide us with a strong confidence in God’s love to us. The father loves His child. It is a reciprocal relationship.
In Psalms 123 we see the eye of dependence, hope, and expectation. We see a longing eye lifted up to God, who is enthroned, high and lifted up, and yet still remains, our Abba Father. Therefore we submit humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand and when his mercy comes, we sing.
If you do not know our Abba Father in heaven, we call out to you, “Come and join us. It will be a great and epic journey in which we will share in the drama of good versus evil as well as the joy of this life. Yes, come with us and we will share mercy and hope… hope drawn from God’s holy fountain of living, effervescent water. Yes, come join us as we climb ever higher in the midst of struggle and as His mercy comes, we will sing”.