The writer of Psalm 15 asks God two questions: “O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?” (v. 1). These questions resemble the two that the lawyer asks in Luke 10, beginning with “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (v. 25). The lawyer, versed in the Torah, already knows the right answer. In response, Jesus tells him a story that will leave him with a second, tougher question to consider: Am I a loving neighbor to whoever I meet?
God makes it clear to the psalmist that those who abide with God will pray with all that is within them to have a right relationship with God and their neighbors. Eternal life flows from a converted heart that offers mercy to the wounded, the ignored, the tearful, the excluded.
God responds to the psalmist’s questions with a description of what a holy life looks like, emphasizing, as Jesus does, that living as a loving neighbor prepares one’s heart for worship. Likewise, worshiping in God’s tent creates space in the worshiper’s heart to receive God’s mercy and to show that mercy to others.
Our world makes it uncertain whether we will be able to worship in our usual physical sanctuaries forever. Like the psalmist, God assures us that God’s tent will move with us through our lives, inviting us to worship God wherever we are. God’s welcome will be with us forever. It will be for all people. It will never be moved.
Describe a time when loving your neighbor prepared you for worship. What did that experience teach you about how to love God?
God, wherever I am, you call me to acts of worship. In your mercy, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer”(Ps 19:14). Amen.