I’d rather be a doorkeeper…
Psalm 27: 4 (NRSVA)
4 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.
Historically, before the invention of the printing press and the education of the masses, visual images were one of the few ways that many could understand, or “read” the story of salvation. The Stations of the Cross described Jesus’ last journey, stained glass illustrated stories from Old and New Testaments; wood carvings depicted the apostles, angels, the crucifixion… the grand structure of great churches depicted the awe and wonder of God. To enter a cathedral was to enter a magnificent prayer, praising God and extolling his virtues, his majesty, his power.
When I received my call to ministry, I felt that I had metaphorically entered a great cathedral. From that moment on, God’s house would be my home. In that context, this verse became significant to me. My lifelong task was now to live in God’s house, to behold his beauty, and to learn and enquire of him at a depth I had not previously known. It has been an adventure, and God’s house, whether ancient or modern (as my own sanctuary in Campsie is) remains precious to me. God can be found everywhere, but I find an especial depth to his presence in a place where the praises of his people over many years have risen like incense.
thank you that you inhabit the praises of your people
and that their praise echoes through the centuries
to surround us now,
that great cloud of witnesses.
Thank you that through praise and worship,
whether in your house or outside of it,
we are raised to sit with you in the heavenly places.
Father, may we find you everywhere,
serve you authentically,
praise you constantly,
worship you in spirit and in truth
that wherever we stand, becomes Holy Ground, Amen