Day Five: Pour It Out, Let Your Love Run Over!

Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and praise the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.– Psalm 134 (NIV)

“As the pilgrims departed… they departed with words of blessing ringing in their ears: the summons to bless the Lord and the prayer for the Lord to bless them… The blessing is said to come from Zion, the location of the special presence of God… We now look not to any special geographical location but to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the presence of God incarnate. But since Jesus is in heaven, we look to His Spirit, who dwells within us as the source of abundant life… Since God has the power to create and sustain the universe, he has the power to empower us for life. Since he empowers us, we have all that we need for abundant life now and forever… By blessing the Lord, we open ourselves to receive his power, which comes ‘flooding into our own lives’… And as that power floods into our lives, we heed the call to bless the Lord. And the circle of blessing continues to repeat itself again and again and again.” (M. Futato, CBC)

Bless God until you overflow with blessings from blessing Him, and let those blessings cascade down to others!

Sing “Fullness” over and over again (at least 3x), and be blessed as you bless over and over again! (Click Here)

– JP


Day Four: Bless, Bless, Bless

Oh, praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
you who serve at night in the house of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward the sanctuary,
and praise the Lord. May the Lord, who made heaven and earth, bless you from Jerusalem.– Psalm 134 (NLT)

“The last verse could sound like a request, ‘May the Lord bless you’; a promise, ‘The Lord will bless you’; or a declaration, ‘The Lord bless you’… The way the blessing is formulated seems to regroup all three: the blessing is, all at once, a declaration, promise and request. Request because every blessing depends on the sovereign decision of God; promise because the free will of God is not arbitrary, His goodness and faithfulness create the conditions for solid relationship; declaration because in pronouncing the word of blessing, the psalmist does more than express a vow or recall a promise, he fulfills a ministry (see 1 Pet 3.9, ‘Bless others, because to this you were called so that you may inherit the blessing’).” (Translated from French, E. Nicole, Croquis de randonnées bibliques)

Formulate a blessing in the three ways explained above as request, promise and declaration. For example:

– Request: “May the Lord bless my friend who is uncertain of her future…”

– Promise: “The Lord will bless my neighbor according to Psalm 145 that says the Lord is near to all who call on Him…”

– Declaration: “The Lord bless my campus, let Your light shine in the midst of darkness!”

Incorporate these in a moment of prayer, worship and intercession!

– JP


Day Three: Don’t Be the Guy Just Punching the Air RN

Come, bless God,
all you servants of God!
You priests of God, posted to the nightwatch
in God’s shrine,
Lift your praising hands to the Holy Place,
and bless God.
In turn, may God of Zion bless you—
God who made heaven and earth! – Psalm 134 (MSG)

In addition to bowing down and standing in readiness, worship involves lifting our hands. “This further physical activity involves the body in yet another way. Raising the hands is a gesture of appeal, and there are no unequivocal examples of its signifying simply exultation (like the sports enthusiast punching the air)… So it is likely that raising the hands is a gesture of dependence on the Lord that complements direct worship of Him, and in a way constitutes worship because it connotes that dependence… both [bowing down and raising hands] are postures of submission and obeisance.” (J. Goldingay, Psalms, vol 3)

Do you consider “body language” to be important in your everyday situations? (ie., at your work place, school, home, etc.)

Do you ever consider worship as a physical activity? Do you think body language plays a part in genuine worship?

Sometimes we don’t feel like worshiping. But lifting our hands is about declaring the truth that I am dependent upon the Lord despite my feelings. I not going to allow my body language to lie about God… so, in obedient faith, I’ll lift my hands to say I am surrendered to God… Let’s sing in worship…(Click here)

– JP


Day Two: Tarry On

Bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and praise the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.– Psalm 134

“To minister” in the house of the Lord literally means “to stand” before the Lord. “This metaphorical use of this word is common in the Old Testament for a posture of ready service before a king or God (David ‘stood before’ Saul, 1 Sam 16.21-22; angels stand before the Lord while awaiting orders, 1 Kings 22.19-21).” (ZIBBC, vol 5)

I’m reminded of Jesus’ famous line, “Could you not tarry [keep watch] one hour?” in the garden of Gethsemene when his disciples couldn’t stay awake in prayer. The call to worship at the end of this pilgrimage, is a call to readiness, to be vigilant, to be prepared to go, to follow, to carry out God’s command as soon as He gives it.

What do you think is significant about “ministering/standing by night” as opposed to the daytime?

How can this posture of readiness give us a better understanding of what worship is really about?

Let’s get in our ready stance and bless the Lord… “Something always changes when I bless Your name” (Click here)

– JP


Day One: God, Bless You

Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
Lift up your hands to the holy place
and bless the Lord! May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who made heaven and earth!– Psalm 134 (ESV)

Blessing usually occurs from the greater to the lesser. God (who is greater) blesses us (who are lesser) with grace, power, gifts, etc. Here, at the end of our ascent, we are called upon to bless the Lord. Simply, for us to bless the Lord means: 1) to worship Him on bended knee and 2) to declare the Lord as the source of all blessing.

How has the Lord blessed you in your life recently? Think of specific things the Lord has done in your life, write down at least three and declare that He is the source of your blessings.

At the end of this long pilgrimage accompanied by these Songs of Ascents, we find ourselves on our knees, praising the Lord. It’s probably not often that we worship the Lord on our knees. If you are able to do so at this time, let’s bow our knee before the Lord, worship Him and sing this song of praise,(Click here)

– JP


Day Five: Life Together

Psalm 133:3b (MSG)

For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book Life Together, begins with a citation of Psalm 133:1 and goes on to say, “Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ. No Christian community is more or less than this. Whether it is a brief, single encounter or the daily fellowship of years, Christian community is only this. We belong to one another only through and in Jesus Christ.”

Quoting from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, Eugene Peterson writes, “The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself without belying the truth. He needs his brother man as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. He needs his brother solely because of Jesus Christ. The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, his brother’s is sure. [Peterson, A Long Obedience, 182]

In this psalm, “for there,” is referring back to Zion (the city of God, heaven, where God dwells). What is the importance of us knowing our source of blessing, community, unity?

Belonging is not just in the physical sense of fellowshipping with others, but it encompasses all of who we are. How are you challenged by Bonhoeffer’s words to belong to one another?

What do you think Bonhoeffer meant by, “The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, his brother’s is sure?”

The blessings of God are not only for life together now, but for life together forevermore. Pray for the people that you and your ministries are reaching out to that they would come and belong “through and in Jesus Christ.”

– AK


Day Four: Heavenly Dew

Psalm 133:3a (NIV)

It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion.

“Mt. Hermon is the highest mountain in that part of the world, rises to a height of over nine thousand feet in the Lebanon range, north of Israel. The alpine dew communicates a sense of morning freshness, a feeling of fertility, a clean anticipation of growth. Important in any community of faith is an ever-renewed expectation in what God is doing with our brothers and sisters in the faith; we refuse to label the others as one thing or another; we refuse to predict our brother’s behavior, our sister’s growth; each person in the community is unique; each is especially loved and particularly led by the Spirit of God; how can I presume to make conclusions about anyone? How can I pretend to know your worth or your place? [Peterson, A Long Obedience, 182]

What senses, feelings, and thoughts is the imagery in verse 3 trying to evoke with the use of dew as a simile for God’s blessings?

The word “dew” is found over thirty times in Scripture and a third of the time, it speaks of dew as being “of heaven.” Other key words associated with dew is abundance, covered, drenched, new, and of the morning. What is God communicating to us about the blessings we are to experience from living in community?

What are the new, fresh, clean, heavenly dew thoughts we should have each morning about the day, ourselves and about one another?

Pray for a couple of people from your ministry group. Sense a word or image or Scripture to pray over them to bless them that they would live in the newness, freshness, heavenly dew-ness of God’s blessing.

– AK


Day Three: Priestly Oil

Psalm 133:2 (MSG)

It’s like costly anointing oil
flowing down head and beard,
Flowing down Aaron’s beard,
flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.

“Oil, throughout Scripture is a sign of God’s presence, a symbol of the Spirit of God; oil glistens, picks up the warmth of sunlight, softens the skin, perfumes the person. But more particularly here the oil is an anointing oil, marking the person as a priest. Living together means seeing the oil flow over the head, down the face, through the beard, onto the shoulders of the other – and when I see that I know that my brother, my sister, is my priest. When we see the other as God’s anointed, our relationships are profoundly affected.” [Peterson, A Long Obedience, 181]

What senses, feelings, and thoughts is the imagery in verse 2 trying to evoke with the use of oil as a simile for God’s ‘good and pleasant’ blessings?

According to this quote, who is your priest? How should this affect how you view and interact with one another?

 In 1 Peter 2:9, it says we are  “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may” ­­­­­­­_________ . Fill in the rest of the statement, not so much from memory, but from how you and your church/ministry community live.

Pray for yourself today that you would see yourself as a priest/pastor/servant of God; one who is called to love, to minister, to speak and live out God’s truth so that others too would know God. Pray also to see others more correctly as the priesthood of all believers.

– AK


Day Two: Are We There Yet?

Psalm 133:1 (MSG) 

How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!

“For centuries this psalm was sung on the road as throngs of people made the ascent to Jerusalem for festival worship … How great to have everyone sharing a common purpose, traveling a common path, striving toward a common goal, that path and purpose and goal being God. How much better than making the long trip alone.” [Peterson, A Long Obedience, 178]

“As we come to declare our love for God, we must face the unlovely and lovely fellow sinners whom God loves and commands us to love. This must not be treated as something to put up with, one of the inconvenient necessities of faith … It is not only necessary; it is desirable that our faith have a social dimension, a human relationship.” [Peterson, A Long Obedience, 177]

What do you think were the attitudes and activities of the ascending crowds and why?

What views have changed in your life regarding the necessity of community as you have grown?

It only takes four chapters of reading the Bible to come across the first example of sibling rivalry as one brother murders another. Further in, you read how ten brothers sold their eleventh brother into slavery, and on goes the countless examples of sibling discord. How then should we go about getting along with our brothers and sisters, now that we are in the family of believers?

Where are we going and are we there yet? Let’s pray for the vision, mission, calling of our church/ministries and ask for unity as we journey together.


– AK



Day One: Live Together

Psalm 133:1 (NIV) 

1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

“Whether we like it or not, the moment we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, that is, from the time we become a Christian, we are at the same time a member of the Christian church … We can no more be a Christian and have nothing to do with the church than we can be a person and not be in a family.” [Peterson, A Long Obedience, 175]

“Scripture knows nothing of the solitary Christian … God never works with individuals in isolation, but always with people in community.” [Peterson, A Long Obedience, 176]

What’s there not to like? Consider/list what has been the blessings of belonging to the church?

In what ways do you find that you may try to isolate yourself from the community and what are the reasons behind it?

What Scripture comes to mind that helps you, challenges you to return to the community? How can you more freely and joyfully live in this truth?

We live together in God’s family of adopted children. Let’s come in prayer to forgive and ask for forgiveness for the ways we have not gotten along with our brothers and sisters. Let’s receive in prayer the affection of the Father for those in our church family.

– AK