I was glad when they said, “let’s go to the house of the Lord?” Really?
Devotional THought of the Day:
1 It made me glad to hear them say, “Let’s go to the house of the LORD!” Psalm 122:1 (CEV)
4 The one thing I ask of the LORD— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. Psalm 27:4 (NLT)
Have you ever woken up in the morning, and felt ashamed because you didn’t bounce out of bed, eat reakfast and race to the car, wanting to get to church a little early, to help or just to pray?
Or when people are so joyously ravind about their worship “experience”, have you wondered if they somehow were in a different dimension and were part of a different service?
Do you worry that you are becoming like that church in Revelation that was described as having lost their “first love”?
Good, that means I am not alone!
It may not happen as much anymore, but there are seasons in my life, even as a pastor, when church became a chore. Where my sense of worship became more mechanical, where I just did my job. And no, I wasn’t glad when the alarm went off, when I wasn’t overjoyed at being in church, and my mind ran off to a thousand other things. Where scriptures like the first one above, just seemed to cause more guilt, than encouragement. Where I figure, well if I can’t get anything out of it. at least I can serve God.
Which leads me to ask, what are expecting? Hopefully some good music (here excellent music) a decent sermon, some needed hugs and smiles.We expect to hear that our sins are forgiven, that all is right in God’s view of the world.
These things are all awesome things, but they aren’t the reason we are glad to go up to the house of the Lord.
Pslam 27 gives us the reason, to gaze upon Him, to fidn the greatest joy in His presence, to be able to just, know His love, and revel in it. What we need to remember about such gatherings that God draws us to be part of, the communities He brings us into, is that He is there. The reason I am glad to go to church, is when I think through all the ways He makes His presence clear to us, when are gathered by Him in His name. When we can breath and slow down, and His comfort and ehaling find us, where we feast with Him. When I can realize the motions I so often find myself going through, as not just motions, but God ordained dance steps with Him as our partner. Where we hear his guidance, where we look upon His love, the body and blood given and shed for us, when we remember His promises poured out on us in Baptism. Church isn’t about the actions, but the Lord’s presence those actions reveal.
Think about Moses, walking onto Holy Ground, about Isaiah before the throne of God, about Solomon as they dedicate the temple – and God’s presence fills it, about Thomas in the upper room gathering, seeing the hands and side… pierced for Him. Know His love, revel in the relationship that is manifest there.
the reason I was glad to go to the house of the Lord? Because He is there… calling me to come be part of His family… to come home, to be home, with Him.
- December 1 (stmarkssa.wordpress.com)