I have never been to Jerusalem but I have heard so many stories of joy as people speak about walking ‘up’ to the holy city. Thousands of people each year make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land so they can approach Jerusalem and come close to the site of the ancient temple where Jesus worshiped and taught. It is truly the city of hills.
Ancient worshipers often walked the journey to the temple for special occasions. They would walk in large groups as pilgrims making their way to worship or to a special feast. As they approached the city and started up the steps to the temple their voices would unite as they recited the traditional Psalms of Ascent. You will find them from 120 to 134 in the Book of Psalms. They are sometimes called the Gradual Psalms or Songs of Steps because they were shared as they climbed closer to their destination and symbolically drew closer to God.
Psalm 121 is one of the Songs of Ascent. As you read it you can almost imagine what it would be like to ‘lift your eyes’ and proclaim that God will ‘not let your foot slip’ as you sang your way to worship. This is a wonderful Psalm to read out loud. It is short with quick and consistent phrases. You might want to take a moment to read it out loud as you listen to your own voice proclaiming the faithfulness of God.
As we get deeper into the season of Lent we become more aware of the eternal faithfulness of the Lord. The Lord who will not let your foot slip is the same God who offered promise to the ancient people of faith thousands of years ago. What a joy it is to join generation after generation as our lives continue to declare that our ‘help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.’