And of Zion it shall be said,
“This one and that one were born in her”;
for the Most High himself will establish her.
The Lord records as he registers the peoples,
“This one was born there.” Psalm 87:5-6.
I was born in Del Rio, Texas, delivered by the same doctor as my father. My friends would say I don’t sound like I am from Del Rio. For that matter, neither does my father. I never actually lived in Del Rio and my father spent most of his life in China. We both sound like where we’ve lived. I suspect you do as well.
In our text for today, the Psalmist exalts the stature of Jerusalem as the City of God. As God’s chosen city, those who are born there receive special recognition. But is the Bible really trying to encourage us to head to Jerusalem the next time we are expecting a baby? That may or may not be a good idea but I have to think there is more to this scripture than that.
If the Kingdom of God is already inaugurated among us, can’t I live there now? We can all become residents of the City of God. We start by submitting to its ruler, the Lord, almighty. We pledge obedience to Him and work daily on knowing Him better and becoming more like Him. We take up residence in His presence.
Then, as we live alongside the Spirit of God and His people, we begin to sound like them and look like them. We stop getting angry when people disappoint us and become compassionate. We become patient with those who seem to always need our attention. We seek out the ones that everyone else ignores to care for them and invest in them. We give more, love more, pray more, grieve more, and become more wise.
Maybe we weren’t born there, but there is plenty of room in that City for us. May we all be known as residents of Zion.