Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Psalm 122 (NRSV)
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
Our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.a
Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers.”
For the sake of my relatives and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
The Southern Gospel song “Jerusalem” excites my heart. When the church choir recently sang it, I could not help but smile. I even thought, This is a good day to gather with friends—to worship God, pray for peace, offer praise to God, and thank God. At times it is good to be alone to commune with God, but the converse is also true. At times it is good to gather together to praise and worship God. I am glad to gather in the house of the Lord with friends.
In a world that can be filled with loneliness, friendship may be one of the greatest gifts we can give. Build relationships with those who are lonely; reach out to people who are not involved in church; invite friends to gather in the house of the Lord. Take time not just to be friendly, but to be a friend. A church that is known for genuine love and friendship will draw those who seek fellowship. If you are feeling alone, go to church and get involved. Seek the goodness of God.
God, please bind us together in joyful unity. Help us to share our joy, hurt, and hope as we worship you. Guide us to stronger relationships and greater commitment to your will. Oh God, we pray together for your peace. Amen.
Go with God.