Reflection: Psalm 84
Key verse: (10) For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.
Reflection: What do doorkeepers do? Keep doors? A doorkeeper was a specialized role for a servant, standing by the front door of the house to open and close the door when people enter and exit. It was a lowly role. Sometimes the doorkeeper functioned like a guard and kept intruders from entering. The position evokes humility and lowliness. Doorkeepers could see the luxury of the household all day but they never lived there. They weren’t invited to sit on the sofa or to enjoy a cool drink. Doorkeepers stood by the threshold all day, near the action but not included in it.
The psalmist writes that it would be better to be a doorkeeper in God’s house than live in the tents of wickedness. More or less, it’s better to be a lowly servant on the edges of God’s presence, not fully welcomed in, than to be a full resident with all of the household privileges somewhere else.
Have you ever arrived into a situation to learn that your role isn’t quite what you expected it to be? Or have you been treated in a way that surprised you? I’ve been with a friend at a social gathering when someone handed her a dirty plate and cup. They thought she was a server with the catering company. She laughed and took the dirty dishes to the kitchen. I’m not sure I would have responded with such grace.
Are there roles in God’s kingdom that seem “beneath” you? Sometimes I think it’s easier to get disciples of Christ to serve in ministries that sound glamorous and important. Asking someone to keep the door doesn’t sound like that. But the church needs lots of doorkeepers, people who want to fill communion cups and open doors for arriving worshipers and turn on microphones at funerals. I wonder if we had a choice between being a doorkeeper in God’s house and living inside the tents of wickedness which we would choose. (Better to be a van driver to pick up senior citizens than to drive your own luxury car? Better to be a chaperone on a youth mission trip than take a vacation to the same place?) Those choices would be hard for me; what about you?
Prayer: O God, you invite me into your presence. I know I am not worthy to be here. Thank you for welcoming me to your threshold. Use me and my gifts in whatever service will glorify you and further the good news of your kingdom. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[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].