March 30: Psalm 122
Psalm of Ascent as pilgrims journey up to Jerusalem
87.87.877 CWM Rhonda (Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah)
I was glad to hear them saying, “To the Lord’s house let us go.”
For our feet will soon be standing in your gates, Jerusalem.
Salem, strong and compact city; there assemble all the tribes,
Tribes that are Jehovah’s own.
This the Lord’s decree for Isr’el, to give thanks to the Lord’s name.
There are set the thrones of judgment; there is David’s house enthroned.
Pray then for the peace of Salem; may they prosper who love you.
Be there peace within your walls.
In your palaces be safety. For the sake of brothers all,
For the sake of my companions, I am saying, ‘Peace to you!”
For Jehovah’s house within you, Temple of the Lord our God,
I will ever seek your good.
Psalms 120 through 134 are known as the “psalms of ascent” and were chanted by pilgrims journeying to Jerusalem as they drew near and began to ascend the heights on which the Holy City is settled. These fifteen psalms form a distinct collection within the Psalter. They often speak of the mountains, as the Holy City on top of the mountain was the perfecting goal of the pilgrimage. As Christians, we are on a journey to the city concerning which it is said: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22). It is the city whose name is emblazoned on our brows, “the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God” (Rev. 3:12). Our psalm captures both these aspects of Jerusalem. She is the goal of those tribes ascending unto the house of the Lord, and even now, the courts where our feet are standing. (Reardon, p.239, 243)
As the pilgrims of old, we are approaching, in our journey of Lent, the commencement of Holy Week and the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem which inaugurates His Passion.