Psalm 137

“Babies and Babylon”

Psalm 137 has been memorialized in song more than a few times, perhaps at least two of those pieces are songs we’ve heard: Don Mclean’s version and Boney M’s version.  What we don’t usually hear are verses 8 and 9.  They are horrific because they arise from the deep pain of a people who have suffered unspeakable violence and loss.  They are evidence of the all-too-human instinct for revenge as supposed justice.  The thing is, though, when we do unto others as they have done unto us, the cycle never ends.  In fact, it spirals to worse and worse incidents of violence, loss, and sorrow.  What if, instead of becoming like Babylon, we leave the system of violence and injustice that Babylon represents?  As Revelation 18:4 cries out: “Come out of her, my people.”