Gathering in the House of the Lord
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
"I was glad when they said unto me. Let us go into the house of the Lord." This 122nd Psalm is known as a psalm of ascent. It was probably composed for the use of the Israelites when journeying up to Jerusalem for the great annual religious festivals.
I want you to picture this. The Temple of Jerusalem is up on a hill. And you are standing in one of the valleys near Jerusalem as one of the tribes of Israel approaches the city. They're going to the Temple to
worship Jehovah God. Stand there and listen attentively, and at length we can distinguish the words. The whole tribe is singing, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, 0 Jerusalem."
The melody grows louder and louder as they draw near the city. There is excitement! There is joy! There is expectancy!
You see. God's house is the place where God dwells. 0, I know there is a sense in which the Almighty "dwelleth not in temples made with hands." Why, the heaven of heavens cannot contain him; how much less the houses which we build for him on this earth. I know the omnipresent God may
not be in any one place more truly than in another, and yet there is a sense in which he is especially present in his own "house."
There is a charm and a power to him in public worship; in being associated with people in acts of prayer and praise. It is an inspiring and elevating and uplifting thing when numbers of people join with
one heart and one voice to pray down divine protection and to celebrate divine love. There perhaps is more of the imagery of heaven in a
worship service like this than in any other experience on this earth.
So here we are in God's house, on God's day, with God's people, opening God's Book in God's presence. I believe we can all say, "I was glad when
they said unto me. Let us go into the house of the Lord."
I. LET THIS BE A PLACE WHERE GROWTH ...
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