Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
This is the first line of a psalm of the Sons of Korah. They were of the tribe of Levi and had the responsibility of priests serving in the temple. But they served on a rotating basis and only made the journey to Jerusalem when it was their turn to carry out the duties of the priests. And this was their shout to the Lord.
For as long as I can remember, going “to church”, that weekly pilgrimage to a place of worship, was always an option. An option my family didn’t take too serious until I was in 5th grade. From that point on we would wake on a Sunday morning, get all cleaned up, dressed in our Sunday best and make the journey across town to our choice of churches. For the last two months our choice has been whether to log in to Facebook or Youtube. For two months you have lived without the corporate worship experience. You have lived without the handshakes, hugs, and high fives. You have lived without the gentle hand on the shoulder as someone prayed over you. Our children have gone without the smile from their Sunday School teacher. They have missed their friends. Our youth have missed silly games, snacks and conversations that deepen their faith.
What have you missed most about not being able to gather together?
What have you learned during these last two months?
What do you value?
My prayer all along has been that God would use this time to change us. That he would do a new thing in each life as followers of God. That he would begin a new thing in the life of MAC as a part of his body the church. That we would find new ways to serving him and carrying out his plans. That we would each be able to take inventory of the things in our own lives that matter most and chase after them. That we, his church, would discover, or rediscover, or confirm those things that matter most to God and how best to chase after them.
Last week we talked about the need to convert, to become little children (Matthew 18:3). The enemy would love for these last two months to be days of fear and panic, that turns a deaf ear to the faithfulness of God and what he is doing. It would be easy for us to start new habits that hinder our faith, become obstacles to our relationship with God. It would be easy for those Sons of Korah during those long days between journeys to Jerusalem to forget. To lose sight of God. To lose passion for his people.
Well! Operation: Welcome Back MAC!
Four more Sundays! If all goes as planned, we have four more Sundays that we will gather via livestream and then on June 14 we will be able to gather for worship at 5601 West Jackson. What a day of celebration and worship. I know many are joining in the chorus of the Sons of Korah as the day approaches. We know too that these next 2-3 weeks could change those plans but we are praying, remaining flexible and trusting God that we will join together. We know too that there is no magical ‘safe’ date for people to come together and not everyone will, for any number of reasons, feel ready to gather on June 14. That is OK. We will continue to livestream on Facebook and YouTube moving forward as things begin to resemble normalcy.
As your Pastor, I want to encourage you to become very intentional in these next four weeks. What is God saying to you? How is he directing your heart to childlikeness? What values do you need to hold on to? What worldly values is he asking you to give up?
As your fellow Jesus-Chaser, I am asking myself these questions personally and for the church?
What a time we live in! What an opportunity we have!
Be Safe. Be Smart. Stay in Touch. And I hope to SEE YOU on June 14!