The book of Psalms is a rare and beautiful glimpse into the emotions behind the experiences of the people of God. The Psalms are poems and/or songs that express the beliefs of the Old Testament through struggle and pain, tears and joy, disappointment and triumph… they open up the hearts of the followers of God to their readers so that we might see the real life application of faith to life. In the psalmists we can often find ourselves struggling to make sense of things, rejoicing in God’s goodness, looking upward for help, or in simply expressing our thoughts and feelings to God.
Within The Psalms we find that some of these songs are divided into books or groupings that bring them together with particular focus. This is the case with Psalms 120-134 which are each labeled as “A Song of Ascents.” These Psalms of Ascent were thought to be recited by Hebrew pilgrims who were on a journey to Jerusalem for sacred festivals and other times of worship. This diverse songbook includes themes of thanksgiving, lament, celebration, and anticipation—all with eyes fixed on God who is the source of all hope, joy, and life. It's been said that these 15 songs provide a well-painted backdrop for understanding life as a faith journey.
As disciples today, on a pilgrimage of our own, we’ll turn to these psalms one by one to catch a glimpse of what our ancestors were experiencing and how they expressed their thoughts and feelings to God. With these songs as our guide we hope to find the courage to be honest about our lives and the difficult journey we are on. As we travel along the way we will find new ways of articulating our struggles and giving voice to our hopes. We also look to these psalms as inspired scripture meaning that we find wonderful truth in them, God’s truth, which leads us to a clearer understanding of God, ourselves, our world, and the road that we are traveling.
“A Disciple’s Songbook” will provide for us songs for the journey that are honest, inspirational, comforting, and true. Join us over the next 15 weeks as we learn and embrace these ancient psalms together.