Pilgrim Song

Readings: Psalm 126; Habakkuk 3:2-6; Philippians 3:12-16

A Pilgrim Song
It seemed like a dream, too good to be true,
    When God returned Zion’s exiles.
We laughed, we sang,
    We couldn’t believe our good fortune.
We were the talk of the nations-
    “God was wonderful to them!”
God was wonderful to us;
    We are one happy people.
And now, God, do it again-
    Bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
    Will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
    Will come home laughing, with arm loads of blessing.
[Psalm 126, The Message, Eugene Peterson]
[Plimouth Plantation, MA]
Straight away when reading the Pilgrim Song, I can’t help but think of the Pilgrims from Leyden Holland 400 years ago when they arrived, finally, after a very long and difficult journey to settle in Plymouth Massachusetts. I can picture their proclaiming this lovely and meaningful psalm together during their community gatherings of worship. I am sure they said many special prayers too for those who lost their lives on the way.
But, somewhere between the writing of Psalm 126, possibly the 4th century before Jesus was born, and 400 years ago, I believe that there have been many many Pilgrims – other similar groups of brave, caring and loving people with the purpose to find peaceful freedom and a place to call home. God was wonderful to them too.
There are pilgrims these days, too, making a similar journey to find that place of hope, peace, faith and joy – as we all wish for during this season of Advent.
Offered by Robin Nielson, pilgrim bound for Bethlehem.

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