Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
Psalm 84 (NRSV)
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise. Selah
Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.
For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the LORD withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.
Where and when do you find the courts of God? Do you have a favorite place in nature where you experience the presence of God? How about a musical piece through which God speaks to you? I am blessed to have lived my entire life in the courts of God—the church. From the time of my birth, I was part of a loving church community. At an early age I recognized the church as a holy place, even if I could not articulate that idea. Where else do we go to sing praises, to find strength? Not only do I know and find God in the church, I have a home there.
How blessed I am to have grown up in the Cumberland Presbyterian church. The people in my church raised me and opened their lives to me. I am thankful for those wonderful people of faith. As an adult, through the church I have friends and colleagues who have walked with me on the highest mountain tops, the deepest valleys, and beside refreshing streams when my spirits are low. They let me walk with them as well. What an extraordinary gift from God.
God of love and giver of strength, thanks for your gift of the church. May we always find joy and hope there, as well as hospitality, support, and kindness. We know all these things are there for us if we but open our lives and hearts to the plans you have for us. May we find you. Amen
Go with God.