Sunday, September 30, 2007


jIH ghaHta' Quchqu' ghorgh chaH ja'ta' Daq jIH, “Let's jaH Daq joH'a' tuq!”

I was glad when they said to me, “Let’s go to the LORD's house!” Psalm 122:6

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I'm fond of changing the desktop image on my computer - I love to pick an image that opens for me a window to another place. That has included family pictures, paintings, or scenes from vacations. Recently I featured a great view from the top of the Ferris Wheel at our State Fair. Last week that image gave way to a terrific shot of the Delta rocket launch that began NASA's "Dawn" mission to the asteroids. It's a stunning picture of that rocket launching over the sea, against a clear blue sky.

As I consider it, I realize that rocket launches are a frequent choice in these backdrops, and it isn't surprising - whether launching my own rockets, or looking at the launches of interplanetary spacecraft, there is something about watching a craft sail into the sky that gives me a lift.

That "lift" is just the feeling I hear in these words from the Psalmist - this excitement to be in that place, that very special place - the LORD's House - where we can stand on the threshold of all God's promises.

jIH ghaHta' Quchqu' ghorgh chaH ja'ta' Daq jIH, “Let's jaH Daq joH'a' tuq!”

I was glad when they said to me, “Let’s go to the LORD's house!” Psalm 122:6

When was the last time you said that, as you got ready to go to worship? How often do we find that excitement, that uplift at the thought of going to a service? Isn't it far more a stereotype that heading in is a chore, a blot on one's free time? Why is that?

The Psalmist uses the word "samach" for "glad". It's a word that appears almost 150 times in the Bible. A primitive root meaning "to brighten up" - carrying the idea of to "cheer up", be glad, joyful, merry - to rejoice. I used a form of the word "be happy" (Quch) for the Klingon, Quch plus the intensifier -qu' for "Quchqu'."

What keeps us from experiencing this? The Life Application Bible notes,

Going to God’s house can be a chore or a delight. For the psalmist, it was a delight. As a pilgrim attending one of the three great religious festivals, he rejoiced to worship with God’s people in God’s house. We may find worship a chore if we have unconfessed sin or if our love for God has cooled. But if we are close to God and enjoy his presence, we will be eager to worship and praise him. Our attitude toward God will determine our view of worship.

One thing I've noticed - participation can make a difference. Just as making (and launching) rockets increases my understanding and appreciation what is happening in a NASA launch, so too, I've found that being involved in the life of my congregation - singing in the choir, or reading lessons in a service - gives me a different attitude toward "the LORD's house." Sure, this means work - and it isn't always fun... but over time, the involvement means I'm far more interested and involved and excited about going to "the LORD's house."

I encourage you, next time you're in your house of worship - if your're finding this psalm's words hard to make your own - look around. If there's a place where you can help (and try to tell me there is a congregation that DOESN'T need volunteers), then pitch in - you'll be glad to find what a difference it can make!

1 comment:

M+ said...

You are absolutely right about participation making a difference. I belong to a small, non-traditional congregation that is much more like an interactive Bible study, and I find that most of us are quite excited about going to church. We're involved with each other and the service. It's a really unique and enjoyable experience.