Processions

Your procession, God, has come into view,
the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.
In front are the singers, after them the musicians;
with them are the young women playing the tambourines.
Praise God in the great congregation;
praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel.
Psalm 68:24-26

Processions. The British people love their processions. At royal weddings. On days of great occasions. Cavalry, beautifully dressed on especially chosen horses. Lines of soldiers marching in perfect unison. A band playing rousing music. The cheering crowds waving flags. A great time of national fervour. In Scotland, we have the occasional town gala, with floats depicting local and other themed displays, accompanied by pipe and accordion bands, threading their way through a town centre and ending in a park for a picnic or some other event. But there are, of course, sad processions as well. The funeral cavalcade. People dressed in black, walking slowly and sadly behind a black hearse and a limousine or two.

But when did we last observe a procession in honour of God? A procession made up of God’s people, playing instruments, musical and percussion, and choirs singing His praises? It must have been a wonderful sight in David, the Psalmist’s, day. A wonderful time to join in the experience and get lost in an abandonment of praise to our wonderful and amazing God. Occasionally we have a procession of religious or academic dignitaries pompously walking through a university city. Or sometimes a church will have an Easter parade for a short distance, ending in the local church. But what about the praising excitement of a procession in honour of our God? The King above all kings. Our wonderful Saviour. Not an embarrassed walk of a few people in a line, largely ignored by the community through which they pass. A procession worthy of God’s honour, noisy with shouts of praise, attended by many people, with cheering and a wonderful sense of God at the head of the procession. In several places in Scripture there are references to wonderful processions – we have a Biblical model to follow.

O Lord. Please forgive us for not giving You the honour and the public praise that is Yours by right.