Scripture: Psalm 122
Key verse: (1) “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’”
Reflection: What is your favorite part of Christmas Eve worship? For many it’s the lighting of the candles during the singing of “Silent Night.” For others it’s the beautiful music offered in worship. For me, it’s the opening hymn, when we rise and sing together, “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” There’s something about a packed sanctuary singing that glorious hymn I’ve waited all year to hear that just makes my soul soar. I can’t wait!
That’s the feeling of Psalm 122. It’s the “O Come, All Ye Faithful” of the Hebrew hymnal. It’s a pilgrimage song sung by those who have made their way to Jerusalem to worship God in the Temple. Their anticipation is finally fulfilled as they arrive at their intended destination—Jerusalem, the City of God, Zion. “Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.” We finally have arrived.
Can you imagine being that excited to worship God? Can you imagine that burning desire to make it to God’s house to offer worship and praise? In a world where worship attendance is in rapid decline, I wonder what it would take for us to discover that driving desire of the pilgrim to go to the house of the Lord. I wonder what it would mean for our relationship with God to long to be in God’s house with the pilgrim’s heart.
Prayer: As we move toward the celebration of Christmas, stir within our hearts the desire to go to your house, O God, to stand within your gates to give thanks for the incarnation of your love in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
Author: Joe Clifford
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].