Songs of Ascent – The Lord my Deliverer
The Songs of Ascent are a collection of Psalms (running from Psalm 120 through to Psalm 135) which pilgrims sang as they travelled towards Jerusalem and up to the temple.
This Sunday we will be thinking about the first Psalm of this series, Psalm 120. I find it interesting that the Psalmist begins his journey (and this series of songs) with, ‘In my distress I called to the Lord’. To put this into context, how it might go down if, on Sunday morning, Jonny were to begin worship with a song of lament, ‘I am so distressed’, ‘everything stinks’, ‘I think I might cry’…?
…I suspect it would not go well.
The notion of lament is something that sits uncomfortably alongside our culture and sits uneasily (I would argue) within modern Evangelicalism. This leads me to ask a series of questions that I hope to answer on Sunday morning, ‘Why is the Psalmist distressed?’, ‘How should believers think about persecution and suffering?’, and ‘Is there a place for lament in the light of the New Testament?’.
The big question we hope to answer over the coming weeks is, ‘How does this procession towards Jerusalem apply to believers today?’ In this broader context I hope, on Sunday morning, to show us how God uses distress, difficulty and even persecution to draw us closer to Christ and draw us deeper into worship of him.
The sermon series, The Songs of Ascent, begins Sunday 1 February 2009 – am and will be available to stream and download from www.firwoodchurch.com and from iTunes.
To watch the Songs of Ascent promotional video, click here.