No Excuses Given – Only a Longing to Meet: Psalm 122 by Pastor Walter
As I look ahead into the next months – from now until September – I anticipate two things.
First – our family is setting aside times to be together. I will never take this for granted. Last summer I had the pleasure of keeping a secret – this was that our children wanted to surprise their mother, Edith, on her 75th birthday. Several years earlier they did the same for their father, myself, on his 70th birthday. Our family wants to be together.
Second – the times we gather as God’s family – as sisters and brothers in Jesus. Here I include the Sunday morning times. I enjoy watching the eyes light up – the smiles and the warm embraces as we meet. I treasure the anticipation – the desire of people wanting to be together – praising God, hearing God’s word taught – just being together.
Psalm 122 is possibly the best example in the Bible of God’s people coming together. It begins, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD.’”
We may be more familiar with the exhortation the writer to the Hebrews gave. We are not told why the early believers were challenged with the words, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing; but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” [Hebrews 10:24,25]
Did the early believers come up with lame excuses why they did not meet together? The writer did not answer any of their excuses. He boldly challenged them to come together.
However, the worshipper in Psalm 122 could not be kept away from the family gathering of God’s people. As we meditate on her or his anticipation to come together we note these reasons to come together:
Unity – the phrase “closely compacted together” points to the unity, the desire to be close to one another. A sign of a genuine worshipping community is unity.
Diversity – God’s people come from various “tribes.” There will be differences. These differences will not stop us from coming together.
One purpose – “to praise the name of the LORD.” Our worship of God has one and only one purpose – this being to praise our God.
Guidelines for worship – The worshippers did not make up their own directives on how to praise God. They worshipped “according to the statues given to Israel.”
Prayer for the peace and prosperity of all worshippers – The psalmist prayed, “Peace be within you.” He concluded, “I will seek your prosperity.” As worshippers we are committed to the peace, to the well being, to God’s best for all the other worshippers.
I pray we will all say, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”