Among the many gifts that the LORD gives me, few have become more completely woven into my daily routine than the gift of some time to be with Him in His house. I’m generally an early riser; so I get to the church early – usually well before the other members of our staff arrive. And in those quiet and solitary moments, I’m able to read, pray, write these little reflections, and attempt to order my heart in such a way that I’m able to serve God’s purposes in God’s strength. As a result, I think that I can echo the words found in one of the readings from today’s Daily Office:
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD.” (Psalm 122:1)
For me, there is something deeply sacred and “centering” that comes from simply being in the house of the LORD. And especially now that I’ve been coming to this particular expression of God’s house for more than 6 years (my 6th anniversary with Calvary Baptist Church took place this past weekend), these walls have become “holy ground” and are a valued part of my spiritual landscape.
Having said that, of course, what makes this “house” a “home” are the people who inhabit it. Second Peter says that when we come to Christ, we “like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house.” (2 Peter 2:5) And while I’m grateful for the spaces for worship and study and fellowship that this physical house affords, I’m even more thankful for the bond of love and mutual service that I see expressed regularly in the life of this congregation.
Then again – as I remind my congregation from time to time – God’s dwelling place isn’t limited to “temples made by human hands,” nor is He confined to the fellowship of those who call on His name. “Heaven is His throne, and the earth is His footstool,” as the prophet says (Isaiah 66:1). And so God is living and active and “housed” in the world around us, where even now His Spirit is at work in ways that we might not readily perceive, but which we are invited to look for and to join.
All of this leads to a “question for the day”: If I said to you, “Let us go to the house of the LORD,” would you rejoice with me? And if so, to which “house” do you most need to go?
- The physical house where holy patterns of worship, prayer and discipleship invite you to draw closer to God?
- The relational house where brothers and sisters in faith support, encourage and love you in ways that empower you to live for Christ?
- The missional house where God invites you to see the world through His eyes and to join Him in expanding the embrace of His kingdom?
The doors of God’s house are open today. May you rejoice as you make your way inside.