The Climb of Your Life!
Biblical Israel celebrated three annual festivals: Pentecost, Tabernacles and Passover. These were festivals of pilgrimage because every Jew within a certain distance of Jerusalem was required to stop what they were doing and travel to the Holy City to join with hundreds of thousands of other Jews in those great celebrations. Because Jerusalem is built on a hill—and out of respect for it as the most important site in Judaism—Jews always speak of going “up” to Jerusalem. So, when the Jews went “up” to Jerusalem for these annual festivals, they sang songs of worship, songs that prepared them for the celebration they were about to experience. Those songs became known as the “Psalms of Ascent”… and we have a collection of those Psalms right in the middle of our own Psalter: Psalm 120-134. It’s kind of a “mini-psalter.”
We are celebrating our own festival this fall. On November 17, our year of Jubilee will culminate in a single, packed-out service of worship at 10:00 followed by an all-church party. You don’t want to miss that morning so get it on your calendar now.
In preparation for that great Jubilee, when we remember God’s faithfulness over our 50 years as a congregation, I thought it would be a perfect time for us to begin to “sing” the Psalms of Ascent together. So, this Sunday, Back Home Sunday, I will begin a new sermon series called The Climb of Your Life based on the Psalms of Ascent. You might prepare by reading Psalm 120. We will complete our journey through those Psalms at Christmas.
Back Home Sunday will also feature our Ministry Fair, a huge display of all the ministries of our church, complete with goodies galore to munch on; a wonderful way to get plugged back into the activities of the fall.
I am excited to be back in the pulpit and looking forward to this climb together!