Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers . . . that you may tell of them to the next generation. (Ps. 48:12–13)

Psalm 48 is a psalm that honors both God and the place where God is worshiped. While verse 9 reminds us that God’s praise reaches to the ends of the earth, the rest of the psalm revels in the city of Jerusalem and particularly the temple. The psalmist encourages the reader to pay special attention to the details of the city, remembering that God lives here, so that they can tell those who have not seen the temple of its beauty.

Evangelicals have always honored God much more than the space where God is worshiped. This is right, of course. But sometimes our beliefs make it hard to understand a psalm like this; why is the psalmist so consumed with the details of the temple and the city, its towers and citadels?

Perhaps we understand it better when we remember that we live in a rootless world. Very few people feel deeply connected with the neighborhood where they live. In a world like this, Christians keep alive the idea that space matters: that God meets us in specific places and times. Maybe, for you, it is a tent at a camp, or maybe it is a pew in a majestic downtown church sanctuary. Maybe God spoke to you in a sermon or in a song. When we remember these things well, we can share this hope in a transient world.

Remember the places where God met you, and share them with others.

Michael Jordan is the dean of the chapel at Houghton College (New York), where he also serves as chair of the department of biblical studies, theology, and philosophy.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.