"Is Everybody Happy?"
October 6, 2010
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Psalm 122:1
In the 1930s and 40s, there was a bandleader by the name of Ted Lewis. His identifier was going on stage and calling out to the audience, "Is everybody happy?"
Back in those days almost everybody in the crowd called back "Yes!"
I wonder if Ted Lewis was doing his shtick today, how people would reply. What do you think? If your pastor got up in front of the congregation and began his sermon by asking, "Is everybody happy?" how would people honestly respond?
Last month Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Chicago's DePaul University published the findings from a study they conducted. They said that Protestant and Catholic women have grown unhappier since they could go shopping on Sundays rather than attending their churches.
Although I'm not sure how they arrived at their figure, these universities say contemporary women are 17 percent unhappier than were their earlier counterparts.
This is due, the study says, because these ladies are not participating in religion like they used to.
Are these institutions of higher learning correct in their findings and in their percentages?
Maybe so, maybe not. Still, I have every confidence that most people are glad when they go into the house of the Lord. Yes, I know there are exceptions like the teen who has been out partying all night, and the person who works the third shift.
But most folks, if they search their hearts, are gladdened at being in the presence of the Christ who gave His life so they might have life. Most folks I know give thanks their sins are forgiven. Most people enjoy sharing time with others who believe in the Redeemer as they do. Most folks enjoy placing their offerings in the plate because they know the Holy Spirit will use that money to accomplish much good.
So, while I don't know how much I agree with these two universities, I am glad to join with the Psalmist who says, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are many things which would keep us apart. For some, Sunday shopping might be high on that list. Now we know You've got nothing against shopping, but You do have a problem with improper priorities. For that reason I pray You will straighten out everybody and make it so all of us are glad to go into Your House. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries