The Poetry Project
The songs of Ascent are the songs Israel sang on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Three times a year Jews in the diaspora would come from the corners of the known world to offer worship to the God of Israel. And as the crowds got closer to the Holy City the throngs thickened and began to lift up their songs of praise as a moving choir on the slopes of the Judean hills.
Read Psalm 134:1-3.
We Became a Choir Waking Angels to Worship
The psalm was short.
A tiny hymn of our ancient praise,
A postcard really, just six lines.
Not much more.
What difference could a postcard make?
But the day had been long.
I and my companions were weary,
filled with dust and longing for the well of our father.
As the sun set, the climb up the ascent
was becoming arduous, but we pushed on.
Our objective caught the last rays of the sun on its roof
and offered hope for the end of the journey.
And then it began.
It started as a murmur.
One of my brothers began to hum.
The melody seemed to catch fire.
A smile crossed a face.
Recognition rose on another’s cheek.
Then another added remembered words to the melody.
Then another’s memory kicked in,
and another, and another.
Soon the sound was stereophonic.
It saturated the air.
It surrounded us, pressed into us.
It lifted us.
Tired legs gained bounce.
Droopy eyes opened.
Hands began to rise toward heaven.
And the song rose too.
We repeated it.
We became an army bringing joyful tribute to the King.
We became a library of redemption’s story.
We became more than we imagined we could be.
We became a choir waking angels to worship.
We became a people bold to bless the God who made heaven and earth,
Go to Psalm 135
Quiz: To what does the seventh line refer?