Joy in the House

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

Psalm 122:1 (NLT)

“Hey everyone! Who’s excited to be here today?!” I shouted as I climbed up onto the stage. The response was one person in the very back going “Meh.” Ok, maybe he said “Yes,” but that was it. I was guest preaching at a friend’s church. There were about 50 people in attendance that day. To say I was a bit taken aback would be an understatement. Where was the excitement? Now, I understand that there are generations and cultures where decorum dictates not to make noise in the church (even a joyful noise?). This was a church plant. It didn’t have such a culture. As I looked around the room, eyes were nearly closed in slumber, boredom creeped across people’s faces, others looked at the clock to see how much longer their captivity would last. Most of those in attendance were definitely not excited to be there.

Can I ask an honest question? Since when did church-going become an obligation rather than a blessing? I mean that in all sincerity. Please note: I’m not talking about the local church I currently pastor specifically. I’m talking about the church in general. Why is going to church not a joy? Is it because we’re exhausted from the work week? The stresses of life have weighed us down until we’re just a shell of a person? Worry is consuming our minds? All of these things?

But, here’s the deal. This is nothing new. Stress. Fear. Anxiety. Lack of sleep. That’s all existed since the fall of humanity. So, maybe it’s that we’ve lost our zeal (excitement) for Jesus?

King David had every excuse for not wanting to worship God with joy and excitement. He was a boy whose king was constantly trying to kill him. He became a king in charge of a nation/people who were constantly seeking things other than God. He committed horrible sins, including the murder of a good friend. David had every reason to lament going to worship on Sabbath. Yet, even though his life was a mess, He never lost his zeal for the Lord. In our verse today, David penned, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

Family, let’s reclaim that zeal. Don’t let the worries and stresses of this life pressure you into submission. Instead, worship God with joy, enthusiasm, excitement. When you step foot into your church, be excited to worship. It’s a choice we all have to make. And, side benefit, you’ll notice as you worship with joy, those other things seem to melt away.

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