Our church is not large, but it is beautiful and well kept. Oh, how I missed it when we were quarantined. My soul longed for the time when I could worship with my siblings in Christ. I did not grow up in my church, but I have found a home there. Even though I know that the people are the church and not the building, I still missed the padded pews, the stained-glass windows, the vestibule, and the Sunday school classrooms. I missed the bulletin board where we post prayer requests and answers. Most of all, I missed the people. I missed Wanda’s songs, Rebecca’s smiles, Tim’s jokes, Rodney’s hugs, and so much more.
I understand what the psalmist means by the words, Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise (v. 4). Even if I am a little off key, I enjoy singing too. Watching a service on television or Facebook or worshiping with the radio is not the same as being able to reach out and hug fellow Christians, or see them face to face, or sing harmonies together. Talking with a sibling in Christ on my cell phone or on a Zoom call is helpful, but I long for more. I need the gift of presence.
My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD (v. 2), writes the psalmist about longing to connect with God in the place where they feel God’s presence.
I understand this. Even when I’ve had a tough week, I want to go to the church building to worship. The psalmist envisions a future in which we worship together, ever singing your praise. May that be true for us as well.
What do you appreciate about worshiping with your church family?
God, thank you for the gift of worship and the places and people who help me experience your presence. Amen.