Psalm 122 (NRSV)
Verse 1I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord!"
Verse 2Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Verse 3Jerusalem-built as a city that is bound firmly together.
Verse 4To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
Verse 5For there the thrones for judgment were set up, the thrones of the house of David.
Verse 6Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you.
Verse 7Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers."
Verse 8For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, "Peace be within you."
Verse 9For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.
Since the COVID pandemic has eased in most places, many of us have been able to physically return to our worship spaces. Even with the continuing mask recommendations, the words of the Psalm have become our words. “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’”
By being away from our church buildings, we missed many of the familiar surroundings. But we also missed more. We may have been able to share the peace when we were worshiping on Facebook or Zoom. But how much better it is to actually look into someone’s eyes and say, “The peace of the Lord be with you.” And then have that person respond, “And also with you.”
Worship spaces can be wonderfully comforting, yet how much more comforting it is to be present with our siblings in Christ. There is no better reason to go to the house of the Lord.
Almighty God, we thank you for our places of worship and for those we meet there. Amen.