Songs for the Road: The Psalms of Ascent

Day 3: The Structure of a Worshiping Life

Scripture Reading: Psalm 122

The Christian life is a climb—a journey of constant growth, sacrifice, and trusting God for what we cannot see. As Eugene Peterson said, we are pilgrims, but we are also disciples—always moving and always learning. The Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) were sung by worshipers as they made the journey up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. In this 3-week reading plan, we are digging into these traveling songs with the help of short summary essays and thoughtful, reflective questions for each psalm. Take your pack on your shoulder and walk with us as we pursue God together.

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Psalm 122 (CSB)
A PRAYER FOR JERUSALEM
A song of ascents. Of David.

1 I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
2 Our feet were standing
within your gates, Jerusalem —

3 Jerusalem, built as a city should be,
solidly united,
4 where the tribes, the LORD’s tribes, go up
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
(This is an ordinance for Israel.)
5 There, thrones for judgment are placed,
thrones of the house of David.

6 Pray for the well-being of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure;
7 may there be peace within your walls,
security within your fortresses.”
8 Because of my brothers and friends,
I will say, “May peace be in you.”
9 Because of the house of the LORD our God,
I will pursue your prosperity.

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An Arriving Song
The pilgrim-disciple enters Jerusalem and blesses the Lord for the city’s beauty and for the sense that he belongs there.

This is a song about moving toward the love of God in worship, which speaks to the core truth in all of us that we are made for worship. But the focus here is not on personal worship only. This song celebrates the beauty of the rhythm of worshiping God alongside others in an ongoing way.

Reflect
1. We are all worshipers. What do you worship? To what do you give your time? In what do you place your hope?

2. This psalm calls people to worship together. What is the value of gathering with other people to worship God together? What do we gain by worshiping with others that we would not have on our own?

3. Scripture calls us to steady, regular worship—to return to the same places and meditate on the same truths over and over. What is the value of doing this?