"One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple." Psalms 27:4 NRSV
Psalm 27 shows David's utmost confidence that God is with him. Faced with his enemies all around him, he has one wish to be back in the house of God once again. His soul yearns for a time when he can regularly attend in the temple, worshiping in the place God dwelt, experiencing the peace and tranquility found in God's presence. He goes on in verse 6, echoing the confidence this will happen, God will grant his plea, "Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord."
In this time of COVID, when churches were closed, and we all in quarantine, we have experienced a longing to come into God's house to worship. During this period, we have all been genuinely grateful for the technology that has allowed us to come together for worship. But it does not fill that longing to be in the house of God. There is something beautiful that happens when we come together as the body of Christ. The time we spend in God's presence with others sharing, praying, studying scripture, and observing communion is a great joy. Like David, we can look forward with confidence to the day when we can once again be in the house of the Lord, worshiping with others in His presence.
Lately, it seems these daily devotions point me to a song. Here is the chorus from Church (Take Me Back) by Cochren & Co, which shares the joy of church.
Take me back
To the place that feels like home
To the people I can depend on
To the faith that's in my bones
Take me back
To a preacher and a verse
Where they've seen me at my worst
To the love I had at first
Oh, I want to go to church
God, we give you thanks for the unique individual relationship we have with you through the Holy Spirit's indwelling. We are also thankful for our churches. For that special place where we can come together as the body of Christ and feel your presence. For some, it may be a home, a storefront, or a church building, but wherever we come together to worship you, it is the church. We long for the day when we can once again all be together. While we do not know the timing, we have confidence it will. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.