Psalm 121 is one of the Songs of Ascent. These 15 psalms are thought to have been part of a collection of hymns sung by people making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for one of three yearly celebrations. Help children understand the context and meaning of this psalm by involving them in some of the following activities.
Copy verses three and four onto a piece of paper. Have children decorate the verses with crayons or markers. Give them their projects to take home and hang by their beds to remind them of God's care as they sleep.
Psalm 121 describes the Lord's protection upon "going out" and "coming in." Make or buy a mezuzah, a parchment scroll with the words of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 handwritten on it. Talk about the importance of mezuzahs in the Jewish culture to symbolise God's protection when attached to the home doorjamb.
Pretend you are the pilgrims on a journey. Set up a tent, gather inside and read Psalm 121 together as the pilgrims would have done.
Bring foods that would be appropriate for a journey in the desert to a nearby park and have a picnic. Imagine you are the pilgrims on their journey to Jerusalem and give thanks for God's protection.
- Pretend you are the pilgrims on a journey.
- Imagine you are the pilgrims on their journey to Jerusalem and give thanks for God's protection.
Create a board game based on Psalm 21 with the final goal of reaching Jerusalem to win. Draw ideas from the psalm for traps in the game, such as "sun smites you," and advancements, such as "protected from all evil."
Have children imagine taking the pilgrimage to Jerusalem from Israel. Ask them to write a diary entry from a pilgrim's perspective on the journey about the emotions that would arise.
Tell children that Psalm 121 would originally have been sung by pilgrims about how God protected them while they slept. Teach a simple bedtime song with a similar theme, such as "Children of the Heavenly Father," and encourage children to sing them at home before bed with their families to remember God's protection while they sleep.