I Rejoiced with Those Who Said to Me, “Let Us Go to the House of the LORD”

Picture1Psalm 122 opens with an invitation to worship.  It is an invitation saturated in joy and gladness.  My 6 year-old reminds me of this every Sunday when I see her race into church before worship, give hugs and high-fives to people, and laugh with other children.  Quite often one of the songs we sing in worship will stick with her and I’ll hear her singing it at home later that afternoon.  The youngest among us teach us a valuable lesson in coming to worship with care-free exuberance.  They come simply to experience the actions of worship and the company of other people.

The youngest among us teach us a valuable lesson in coming to worship with care-free exuberance.

What a great reminder our children provide for us!  I admit there are days when I let the details and preparations for worship get in the way of rejoicing in the house of the LORD.  Maybe it’s a good reminder for all of us to let go of our own longings that get in the way of truly rejoicing in worship.  If that seems difficult, then begin with scripture.  Ask ourselves what it is that causes God to rejoice and celebrate.  Luke 15:7 tells us that there is great rejoicing in heaven when sinners repent.  The mission of God’s church to reach and disciple people with the gospel is worth celebrating.  It is worth celebrating because it is this mission that constantly reminds us of God’s grace and his love for us and for others.  That’s worth gathering to sing about, pray about, and read about from scripture.

And one final thought.  Psalm 122 is an invitation to GATHER in worship.  It is a reminder that worship is not just something we do privately.  Worship is something we do together.  And the emphasis of the psalm is on the invitation we give for others to worship with us!  It is not just an invitation to come to church.  It is an invitation to rejoice in worship with us.  I cannot invite others to rejoice with me if I am not rejoicing.  Step one: rejoice in worship by joining God in HIS rejoicing for the love and grace that is given.  Step two: say to those who need God’s love and grace, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

till next time…
~pastor tom