This Saturday, as we prepare for worshiping our God tomorrow, I can’t help but think of the first verse of Psalter #348:
With joy and gladness in my soul
I hear the call to prayer;
Let us go up to God’s own house
And bow before Him there.
How glad and joyful I am that I can go to God’s house! Why am I so happy, you ask? Why is it such a good thing to go to church? How joyful can it really be to go and worship?
Let’s think about it this way. We are busy as beavers Monday through Saturday: school, work, family, friends, relationships—all of these things demand our attention and care. We are always thinking ahead to what we have to do next, or when this is going to happen, or who we are going to see here. It’s as if our minds are clocks wound up tightly and we just have to cruise on full speed ahead the whole week long. Now, it’s Saturday, and we finally have a chance to relax, slow down, and not worry about all those things! God has set aside a day for us to rest from all of the things of this world that we are always busy with because He omnisciently knows that is the best way for us. He loves us so much that He gives us a full 24 hours to dwell on Him and His words instead of being consumed by everything that takes us away from Him. Think about that for a minute. How amazing is it, that right from the beginning of creation, God set aside the Sabbath for that very reason? In His perfect plan, God gave us our Sundays for such a blessed rest—therefore, I am joyful!
Not only am I glad because I get a chance to rest, but going to the Lord’s house also means that I will be hearing the preaching, the very words of Christ spoken to me. I have much to learn yet about who God is, and every Sunday, Christ commands me to learn more about Himself. Through His mouthpiece (the minister) Christ tells me how to walk my antithetical walk; He instructs me in so many things, and for this I am so glad! How else would I gain knowledge and wisdom?
Going up to my Father’s house is a wonderful experience as it brings me comfort as well. I am reminded week after week that I am saved. I have a Father who was willing to send His only begotten son to die—for me and my abominable sins. So often our busy lives Monday through Saturday can be exhausting, often leaving us in grief and despair. How am I supposed to get through it all? What does everything even matter anymore? And then we come to church, where we hear once again that we can lay our burdens on God, and He will take care of us. There is no doubt: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Being reminded of this constant safekeeping makes my heart glad, so glad! It is such a joy to prepare for worship knowing that my dry and aching soul will be refreshed once again.
So, when you are traveling to your worship services tomorrow, be glad and joyful! You are going to hear your Father speak to you! You are taking a break from all the worrisome things of life! You have the opportunity to drink in the fellowship with God’s people and be refreshed once more! God loves you, cares for you, and has given you a day to enjoy and praise Him in!
“Who is so great a God as our God?” Psalm 77:13