Psalm 100 (ESV)
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Since childhood, Sundays have been set aside to make a joyful noise to the Lord. Sundays call to serve the Lord with gladness, to come into his presence with singing. Sundays have been and always will be the bookends of my week. Not just an important routine we observe but indeed the Fountain of Blessing we thirst for.
But now what? Who knows how long it will be before we will physically gather together again for corporate worship?
We know that God is near us every day wherever we are. But we know that our faith is strengthened when we worship in close proximity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We love the beauty and the reassurance weekly worship gives, but now we are no longer worshipping in a church pew. Poof…gone. Gone are familiar handshakes, genuine hugs, the sympathetic tear, and the encouraging pat on the back. This feels strange, and I don’t like it.
So how do we deal with this scenario? We can enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise in a DIFFERENT way. These are Sundays in which we can dig deep into our spiritual life. In our homes, we can sing, read Scripture aloud, digest passages from the Bible, and think at leisure. We can listen and listen and pray. If nothing else, we will gain an understanding of what people who live alone experience every day.
When this is all over, we will certainly never again take worship services at St. Luke’s for granted. But let us resolve that this Sunday, and in all the Sundays to come, to serve the Lord with gladness. We can continue to give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever and his faithfulness to all generations.
Loving and eternal God,
We are grateful for Sunday. Give us the wisdom to use this day wisely that we might be drawn closer to you and each other. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.