A Song of Ascents

Steve Skiver   -  

The fifteen Psalms (120-134) that travelers to the Jewish high festivals in Jerusalem would sing along the way are known as the “Songs of Ascent.” This past Sunday’s sermon from Pastor Dan was based in part on Psalm 130. To glimpse the joy of those travelers we read from Psalm 122:

I rejoiced with those who said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is a well-built city that is firmly joined together,

a city to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,

    as a testimony to Israel,

    to give praise to the name of the Lord.


From <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20122&version=EHV>




How often do we rejoice when we “go to the house of the Lord”? There are many reasons we go to church, too many to list; is joy and rejoicing with others really on that list? The joy results from hearing the Word, receiving His gifts, and worshipping our Triune God. What would be different if we went to the house of the Lord with joy already present? Chapter 16 of the Gospel of John is titled “No Greater Love-in Joy”  in the English Heritage Version (EHV). Jesus uses “joy” four times. Here are three of them:

You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. A woman giving birth has pain, because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, because of her joy that a person has been born into the world.

So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. In that day you will not ask me anything.

From <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2016&version=EHV>




So the pattern: sorrow turns into joy. We go to church, hear the Word, receive forgiveness, then our joy. How do we hold on to that joy? It comes from Jesus’ fourth time using “joy”:

Ask, and you will receive, so that your joy may be made complete.

From <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2016&version=EHV>




Now may the God of hope fill you with complete joy and peace as you continue to believe, so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


From <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2015&version=EHV>









Trust the Promises,



Steve Skiver