Right after lockdown the students were so well behaved at youth group meetings on Wednesday nights. I think that being locked away from peers for so long helped make everyone very grateful to be able to be together.

I experienced it too by coming together to sing to the Lord without masks on or restrictions in place, and I’ve been feeling it even more since summer ministry started back up this June. There is gladness and joy in my soul just to be able to do what was once normal life and church and ministry.

I wonder if that is a bit of how David felt when he penned the beginning of Psalm 122.

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem.

Sometimes, going to church is a “supposed to” and sometimes going to church is a “get to.” For David and the people of Israel, going to the festivals was not an option, it was commanded by God. The command was a part of the covenant or arrangement God had made with his people and he specifically set up the festivals in order to help His people remember their past and their relationship with Him. The hope was that in remembering, the people would be faithful to their God. That is still an important part of what happens through going to church today.

Notice that it made David rejoice (NIV) just because people said to him, “Let’s go to church!” In many translations David writes, “I was glad when they said to me.” There can be something pleasing about it, gladness which can come from, the simple encouragement to get to church. Maybe there can be gladness and joy in our souls every time we do normal life and church and ministry.

John Riley
Jr. High Ministry

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