I find it difficult to explain what Kosovo means to most Americans. It is often referred to as the “Serbian Jerusalem”, but what does that mean?
By the rivers of
There we sat down, yea, we wept
When we remembered
We hung our harps
Upon the willows in the midst of it.
For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song
And those who plundered us requested mirth
Saying, “Sing us one of the songs of
How shall we sing the Lord’s song
In a foreign land
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget its skill!
If I do not remember you,
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth-
If I do not exalt
Above my chief joy.
Remember, O Lord, against the sons of
The day of
Who said, “Raze it, raze it,
To its very foundation!”
O daughter of
Happy the one who repays you as you have served us
Happy the one who takes and dashes
Your little ones against the rock!
(As an aside, I’ve often heard any number of “spiritualizations” of the exhortation to dash the little ones of
Modern Americans, for the most part, do not have a sense of place, much less a sense that God gave us the place we live and we were given to the place. For most people today, one place to live is as good as the next, assuming some materialistic criteria are met. A man born and raised in
So how do you explain to people who more often than not do not live in the same state they were born in, may have moved several times while growing up, and often do not live within a days drive of their siblings or parents what one place can mean? Does the person who moves his family cross-country for a better job feel like an exile? Does the family that sells the house to buy a newer, bigger one understand that they are depriving the children born in the old house of their ancestral home? Of course our consumer culture insures that all places are the same, and we can find the same “entertainments” and consumption wherever we go.