The Songs of Ascent:

Worship on the Journey

The Psalms of Ascent (Ps 120-134) offer us help on the journey of our lives as we walk with God through the good times and bad. These psalms help us approach God in worship via avenues of lament, thanksgiving, praise, and celebration. They lead us into worship on the journey: bringing who we are (transparency) to who God is (confidence) together with God’s people (community). 

The Journey and God's Peace

Psalm 120

Abraham Cremeens

May 27, 2018

 

In Psalm 120 we are invited to be fully transparent in expressing our grief in the midst of distress. And yet there is a sure confidence in God as our Deliverer. He cares deeply for us and gives us peace in a broken world.

 

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The Journey and God's Protection

Psalm 121

Abraham Cremeens

June 3, 2018

 

Psalm 121 points us to God as Keeper.  It is in fact the central theme of the psalm, repeated six times and coming to a head with “The LORD is your keeper” in verse 5.  As our keeper God guards us, he shelters us, and he protects us from all evil.


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The Journey and Corporate Worship

Psalm 122

Abraham Cremeens

June 10, 2018

 

Psalm 122 points us to the joy of corporate worship, the gathering of God’s people. The psalmist has finally arrived at his destination to worship with all of God’s people. He is excited and for good reason. As he worships in Jerusalem he is reminded of the benefits of unity, obedience, and righteousness as God’s people do life God’s way. His response is fitting. He reacts to it all by praying for the welfare of God’s people so that these great things can continue.


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The Journey and God's Mercy

Psalm 123

Stephen Weinkauf

June 17, 2018

 

Psalm 123 offers us a great example who how we are to position ourselves in service to God as we see His mercy. The world may see service (submission) as an act of great oppression, but we can know that our God does and will show us mercy! In service to God, we are then to seek to extend the mercy of God to those in the world who desperately need it.

 

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Retrospect and the Journey

Psalm 124

Paul Briggs

June 24, 2018

 

Reflecting on the past in light of the truth is a helpful exercise for spiritual growth in which God’s people do well to engage. Psalm 124 is a Psalm commonly attributed to David. It teaches the people of God the value and wisdom of pausing for the purpose of review, reflection and response to the perils of life. This leads to a growing understanding of the mercy and faithfulness of God by seeing more clearly his care and protection.

 

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The Journey and Trusting God

Psalm 125

Abraham Cremeens

July 1, 2018

 

Psalm 125 is a psalm about trusting God. In the journey of life we see our vulnerability and weakness. At each point we can either chose to trust in ourselves or to trust in God. The one who trusts in God has the opportunity to rest in his presence and in his protection. Out of that experience we are able to pursue integrity, that is, be the person God has made us to be.

 

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The Journey and Joy

Psalm 126

Abraham Cremeens

July 8, 2018

 

Psalm 126 is a psalm about God’s care and restoration that leads us to joy. Throughout history, God has again and again intervened and delivered his people. Life is full of challenges and hardships. Therefore, the people of God are to (1) remember God’s past works of deliverance, (2) ask for present deliverance, and (3) anticipate that deliverance based on his sure promises. True and lasting joy comes out of this pathway.

 

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Purpose on the Journey

Psalm 127 & 128

Will Peycke

July 15, 2018

 

We all want our work to matter and our home to be happy. And yet, the “daily grind” of ordinary life often seems futile and frustrating. Psalms 127 and 128 show us how to find purpose when the journey feels pointless. The key: revering God as the ultimate builder, protector, and provider, and allowing this reality to reshape our perspective on our work and home. Seeing life from God’s perspective turns the daily grind into the good life.

 

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The Journey and Perserverence

Psalm 129

Abraham Cremeens

July 22, 2018

 

Psalm 129 is a psalm about perseverance in the midst of persecution. While we are encouraged to lament and interact with God about our pain, this should always lead us to focus on God and to plead to him for justice. God cares for us and hears our grief as we express it, and he is also working for his glory in how he handles the wrongs in this world. He is righteous and always does the right thing.

 

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Worship Out of the Depths

Psalm 130 & 131

Paul Briggs

July 29, 2018

 

Having a realistic understanding of our relationships is a very important life skill. Trusting people who should not be trusted and not trusting people who should be trusted can cause a very chaotic and miserable life. Psalms 130-131 are psalms which encourage the pilgrim traveling toward the place of worship to know his position before the Lord and demonstrates how knowing that position moves the pilgrim toward a correct response.


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God's Faithfulness on the Journey

Psalm 132

Will Peycke

August 5, 2018

 

When we are on a journey, we tend to look forward and anticipate what’s ahead. But sometimes, we need to take a look back and remember where we’ve been. Psalm 132 invites us to look back into Israel’s history, so we can move forward with confidence in God’s faithfulness. Even when it seems like God’s plans might fail, we can always look forward in hope because God never turns back on his promises.

 

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The Journey and Community

Psalm 133 & 134

Abraham Cremeens

August 12, 2018

 

Both Psalm 133 and 134 fit well together, and especially as concluding psalms for the Songs of Ascent. The first psalm calls us to look around us at the community that God himself has built. As diverse as the old covenant people of God were, they were brothers dwelling together in unity. This work toward community, that God himself was doing, was both good and pleasant, something to be received, enjoyed, and celebrated. As important as community is, though, it is not the end of the road. God’s design for community is that the unified people of God gather in worship, to bless him.

 

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