READ : Psalm 122
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” (v. 1)
When I was young, sometimes I didn’t want to go to church. I didn’t mind getting sick on Sundays because it meant staying in bed, wearing pajamas, and singing Bible songs. Does this resonate with you? Maybe Sunday is your day off, and you treasure a quiet cup of coffee and the paper. For some, the reasons are deeper and more personal. Maybe another church member ruffles your feathers. Or perhaps, after a painful financial debacle in your church, the last thing you want to do is worship there.
What, then, makes the writer of this psalm so excited about going to church, to the house of the Lord? I imagine that he too occasionally had a difficult time at worship, that troubled relationships awaited him there, that the service was sometimes just plain uninspiring. So why is the psalmist glad?
Very simply, it’s not just church. It’s the house of the Lord. God dwells there. The psalmist knows that when he enters the temple, he will encounter God. The temple is not a vacant building; it’s alive with the Spirit of God. Like the psalmist, we can expect to meet God when we go to church. God precedes us; he is already there, ready to welcome anyone who enters. In church, we gather as the body of Christ to meet God and to thank him for his presence.
Lord, prepare us to meet you in your house with eagerness.