Psalm 122:1-2 - I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD!" Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!
"Let us go to the house of the LORD." When you hear that invitation, when the opportunity arises to go to God's house for worship, are you glad? We may be happy to hear and respond to the invitation for any number of reasons. Certainly, we come to the Lord's house in glad obedience to His command to remember and keep the Sabbath day holy. We observe Sunday as our day of rest and worship, adding to our joy with the weekly celebration of Jesus' resurrection. We may attend church out of habit, but it is a good habit to have, one we share with our Lord, who went to the synagogue each Sabbath "as was His custom" (Luke 4:16). Perhaps we enjoy the fellowship of worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we usually don't mind a little extra fellowship afterwards—with coffee and donuts. In worship and fellowship, we follow in the footsteps of the saints. Throughout the pages of Scripture, we read of the faithful who gathered to worship, and from the earliest days of the church, the followers of Christ gathered to devote themselves "to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42b).
All of the above are good reasons to be glad in the house of the Lord, but there is a greater reason and a greater gladness. When we gather for worship, our Host is there to meet us. After all, it is His house and, like every good host, God welcomes us into His presence. In the house of the Lord we hear the good news that our sins are forgiven for the sake of Christ Jesus. Can there be a greater reason for joy and gladness? Through holy Baptism, God welcomes new children—of all ages—into the household of faith. He sustains and nourishes us in faith as we listen to His Word. The Lord Jesus welcomes us as guests at His table, where He Himself is present in His body and blood. We bring our prayers and offerings to the Lord. Filled with gratitude for His gracious gifts, we join in songs of joyful praise.
Redeemed in Christ, we are, according to Scripture, not only in the house of the Lord, we are a house of the Lord. "Like living stones," we are "being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5). We offer up to our God and Savior the sacrifices of a repentant heart, of prayer and praise, and our bodies as living sacrifices dedicated to His service all through the week—until we are glad to meet again for worship in the house of the Lord.
THE PRAYER: Our God and Savior, we are glad to be in Your house as we join our brothers and sisters to receive Your gifts and to offer up to You our sacrifice of praise. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Do church-related activities take up a fair amount of your time? Is your involvement where you want it to be?
2. How happy are you when you head off to church?
3. Do you get something special from attending church that beats not going? What is it?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"