Songs of Ascent
In the days of ancient Israel, every adult male was required to journey to Jerusalem three times a year to appear before the Lord. These were sacred festival times and the journey up to the Holy City was filled with preparation, joy and much celebration. Songs were sung along the road by the pilgrims as they ascended to the city. Imagine the excitement and electricity as the crowds swelled outside Zion.
Psalms 120-135 were these festival songs, much like our Christmas carols today, known and loved by all. They express a broad range of emotional and spiritual places of the human experience, transcending both time and culture. They are cries of the heart, shared by everyone earnestly seeking to follow the voice of God.
This journey of the King is a path through surprise and elation, perplexity and pain, darkness and even dying. May you find yourself in the songs and scriptures of this unfolding passage. Enjoy the provisions, Stop and take the pebbles out of your sandal. Drink the cool, sweet waters of holiness. Sit and grieve awhile. Catch your breath as you come around the dark corners of the past into incredible vistas of change and possibility. Accept yourself through His eyes of tender love. You are not alone. The Gentle Shepherd leads you every step of the way. Rejoice greatly, little pilgrim. Fully yield your life. This journey has a glorious ending!