“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’” Psalm 122:1 (NLT)
In addition to the weekly Sabbath in the Old Testament, God established seven festivals for His people to celebrate and worship. These were intended to be celebrations and memorials ordained as feast days of supreme JOY and sublime REJOICING! So, when did we turn festivals into funerals?
If God desired His people to worship with great joy under the Old Covenant of the Law, how much more should we rejoice under the New Covenant of Grace when we gather for worship? How can we restore joy in our worship?
Psalms 120 to 134 are called “pilgrim psalms” or “songs of ascent.” They were sung by those who journeyed or “ascended” to the Temple for the annual festivals. Each psalm is a step along the journey, preparing the worshipper for the festival they were going to celebrate. You get the point: Authentic worship requires preparation.
You wouldn’t expect those leading worship not to prepare. The same is true for the worshipper. The truth is that the only audience in a worship experience is God. We are all to prepare and participate in active, joyful worship, celebrating His love, goodness and presence. Jesus said that the Father seeks true worshippers to worship in spirit and in truth. Sometimes, we communicate the truth in worship; but, somehow, we miss the spirit of worship. How can we prepare to worship in spirit? It begins with our attitude. This week, before you go to church, sing this pilgrim psalm of ascent,
“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’”
See what a difference it makes as you encounter the living God. Then, worship Him with great joy and celebration!