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Jun 13, 2021

Psalm 122 - The Joy of Worshipping Together

Psalm 122 - The Joy of Worshipping Together

Passage: Psalms

Speaker: Andrew Kerhoulas

Series: Ascend

Keywords: gladness, thanksgiving, corporate worship, peace and security

All summer we’ll move our way through the collection of biblical songs known as the Psalms of Ascent (Pss 120-134). These were songs which were sung by God’s people during the uphill journey to worship in Jerusalem, which resided on the highest point in Palestine. The ascent was literal but it was also metaphorical, directing the pilgrims to live upward towards God. These songs have provided lyrical content for the upward call of Jesus’ followers for centuries. And after our most disorienting year, we need to learn to live these songs afresh, reminded that Jesus has called us further up and further in. Psalm 122 is all about corporate worship, one of the most vital activities for living in the way of Jesus. After a year of languishing where many have lost this spiritual habit of worshipping together, this song gives us a renewed vision not only of why we need to “go up to the house of the Lord,” but how, like the psalmist, we can be glad as we do.

Readings & Scripture

CALL TO WORSHIP: Ephesians 1:3,7-9 & Hebrews 12:28a
LEADER: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places...7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ.

ALL: 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.

CENTRAL TEXT: Psalm 122:1-8
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” 2 Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! 3 Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together, 4 to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. 5 There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David. 6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! 7 Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!” 8 For my brothers and companions' sake
I will say, “Peace be within you!” 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.

ALL: I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried.
He descended to the dead. The third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit. The holy catholic Church. The communion of saints. The forgiveness of sins. The resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

BENEDICTION: Hebrews 13:20-21
LEADER: 20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will,

ALL: and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.



Genesis 4
Exodus 19-20
Psalm 46
Matthew 23
Romans 12:1-2
Ephesians 5:20
1 Peter 2:5
Revelation 7:9-17



  1. Discuss what gathered worship is and its formative role in our discipleship according to Psalm 122? 

  2. Why is it important to distinguish between worship that is basic to all people, scattered Christian worship on Monday-Saturday, and gathered Christian worship on Sundays? 

  3. Before the pandemic, what excuses did you hear professing Christians give for why they don’t attend gathered worship? What about now? 

  4. What reasons do we have to be glad to participate in gathered worship? How are worship and the gospel inseparable? 

  5. If you’ve struggled to find joy in gathering for worship lately, why is that the case? Spend some time praying for glad worship to grow in your own life and in the life of our church family. Spend time confessing ways we as a church may have failed to worship as God intends. 


  • “A Christian should be an alleluia head to foot.” Augustine
  • “We can act our way into a new way of feeling much quicker than we can feel our way into a new way of acting. Worship is an act that develops feelings for God, not a feeling for God that is expressed in an act of worship.” Eugene Peterson
  • “At the center of the New Testament stands not our religious experience, not our faith or repentance or decision, however important these are, but a unique relationship between Jesus and the Father. Christ is presented to us as the Son living a life of union and communion with the Father in the Spirit, presenting himself in our humanity through the eternal Spirit to the Father on behalf of humankind. By his Spirit he draws men and women to participate both in his life of worship and communion with the Father and in his mission from the Father to the world.” James Torrence, Worship, Community, & the Triune God of Grace
  • “Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.” David Foster Wallace
  • "Worship could be thought of as every single human being’s responsive, whole-life giving to someone or something...Everyone worships.” Zac Hicks, The Worship Pastor