In Australia, Christmas is often the time when industry and professional services close down for their annual break. The business centers of a city are quieter and industrial areas are empty! It seems as though many people head off for their annual ‘pilgrimage’ to the coast for family holidays or overseas to visit family. Churches are quieter too as members often go on missions whilst others join the annual pilgrimage to holiday destinations.
Today, on this last Sunday of 2013, we start a new five week series on the Psalms of Ascent. We will go back to Old Testament times and journey to Jerusalem as tens of thousands of Jewish pilgrims gather together for a time of celebration. We will walk with them as they travel through difficult terrain and as they climb the hills and mountains up to the city of Jerusalem, the then holy city of the Jewish world. We will experience the challenges and joys of such a pilgrimage. We will learn from these pilgrims in so many ways.
My hope and prayer is that through the examination of these Psalms of Ascent you will feel encouraged and will be blessed. The difference between us and the Jews is that our pilgrimage lasts a lifetime as our journey is along the narrow path that takes us to the Eternal City. I trust that we will learn the secrets to surviving this long, and sometimes arduous journey, and therefore manage to stay on course and finally reach our eternal destination.
We have a New Year ahead of us to enjoy and to be blessed as well as we become a blessing to others. Let us thank the Lord for our journey through 2013 and ask Him to bless all we do through 2014 as we seek to build His kingdom here in Kogarah and beyond! I am looking forward to a New Year of great promise as we follow our Lord in where He has prepared us to go!