As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Psalm 122 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
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.
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.
I am a preacher’s kid, and was subject to the “open door” church policy: Every time the church doors were open, we were there. I suspect that is why later on, when I was in college, and not under the roof, I did my share of skipping Church. Looking back, I did not make the same connections with church as David did.
To David, the Tabernacle – the church building to us – was more than just the place he went to on the Sabbath and every time the courtyard was open (I don’t think they had doors back then). When David thought about the tabernacle, he thought about the place where the people and he worshipped, prayed, learned things, thanked God, fellowshipped, prayed for the peace, and sought the good.
I don’t see things like I did when I was a kind. Now, when I enter the church building, and then the sanctuary – whether or not there is church going on – I immediately feel the particular presence of God. There no feeling like it, save that of being in the presence and peace of God. I hope you find that same peace, too! And if you don’t have a church to experience that in, find one that you are comfortable at – where the people welcome you in as if you are a neighbor – and begin experiencing the love of God that comes through being among imperfect, loving people worshipping a perfect, loving God.
Dear God, bless my church. And bless me in it. And bless the one who does not have or know the peace and support that comes from being part of a loving, godly church. Speak gently to the one who has been hurt in the very place they should have been loved – the church. Bring across their path people who will “love them into church.” Amen.
Go with God!