Living Psalm 122 – Advent 1A
Living Psalms Book
Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.
Litany of the church (based on Psalm 122)
One: When I hear the words, ‘let’s go to church’ my heart swells like the Grinch’s heart that ‘grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!’
Many: Delight is contagious!
One: And it swells because of the understanding that I am the church. My memory drifts back to the sing song days where I was taught that the church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place…
Many: The church is the people!
One: When I hear the words, ‘let’s go to church’ I am reminded that I, as the church, am Jerusalem. I am a well-built city. I am invited to remember that no matter what the world tells me, no matter how I am asked to conform and conscribe, no matter how I might think my hair should be, my clothes should look, my body should function, I am worthy.
Many: Self-love is contagious!
One: And we gather to be with the saints, to remember the building represents real and intentional communal building, communal beautifying, communal repairing. The stones that we have entered into, they are lively stones. The church’s foundation is Christ, the support beams are the stable believers, the windows are the ordinances, and the pillars are the ministers of the word…
Many: the church is the people!
One: When I hear the words, ‘let’s go to church’ I immediately open myself in anticipation for where the Good News of ‘peace’ might land in my soul. I have learned that church is when we are able to find spiritual pleasure and enjoy abundant peace and comfort while simultaneously being challenged to expand ourselves and our ideas of peace and comfort.
Many: Peace is contagious!
One: And as church, in church, with others that embody church… it becomes our task to stir up others to advocate for spiritual strength that is insistent on us attaining justice in the name of Christ, not just for the church, because…
Many: the church is the people!
One: When I hear the words, ‘let’s go to church’ I am humbled by the truth that the joy and the love and the peace that I receive is also and always being received by the CHURCH, by the city that is built in all God’s glory and honor, by the people and it lands in a place of hope that the one who built us will also hold us as we praise all the earth as being the house of the Holy One.
Many: Hope is contagious! Let us go to church!
BONUS: Here is a link to a creative video that includes music by Aidan Spencer: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mqz8z926zvn5trc/Psalm%20122%20revised.mp4?dl=0. The authors have given permission for its use in the local setting.
Living Psalm for Advent 1A – Psalm 122 was written by Samantha Houser.
Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community. Maren Tirabassi, editor
Logo is detail from Living Psalm 80 by Sophia Beardemphl, Redwoods, CA. Recovering from significant bullying, Sophia, age nine, read Psalm 80 and thought of brokenness that needs mending. She drew this broken and mended bowl.
© Copyright 2022 Samantha Houser. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.