Summary: David got excited when he was invited to the house of the Lord. He was glad! He rejoiced! Why? Because he loved the praise of God!
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 1/24/16
• Music Video: What I Love About Sundays (Craig Morgan)
I’ve never been much of a country music fan, but that song really speaks to me. Craig Morgan, the singer, describes the kind of Sundays that I long for and look forward to throughout the week. This might sound revolutionary or just plain bizarre to some people, but the truth is—Sundays are meant to be the best day of your week!
Last week I asked each of my kids the question—what do you love about Sundays? Sarai (age 8) said, “I love seeing my friends and Mrs. Cris’s Sunday School class. I like pretty much everything.” Abby (age 6) said, “I love standing with you during communion.” Yeshua (age 10) said, “I love being with my friends. Also, your sermons. They’re not boring like most old preachers because you tell jokes.” While each of them touched on different elements the one thing each of their answers had in common was church.
They love Sundays because they love church. I hope the same is true for you, but I know that’s not true for everyone.
Many of us grew up in situations where Sunday was boring. Or Sunday was a rat race. Some of us grew up in homes where Sunday was just another day. Others grew up in homes where Sunday was a disappointment, because it was supposed to be a family day, or a day off, but nothing ever happened because the family never did anything together. Or the wrong thing happened, like you had to do yard work with dad or chores with mom all day. Others of us grew up in homes where Sunday was full of conflict because church was mandatory but no one was ever ready to leave on time, so the whole family competed for the bathroom, bumped into each other scrambling for breakfast in the kitchen, wolfed down our food, bolted for the door, and argued with each other all the way to church—where you suddenly start acting like saints as soon as you hit the parking lot. Then again, why do we even go to church?
You go to school to get an education so you can make a living. You go to work to make money so you can pay the bills. You go to the gym for exercise and better health. You go to the mall to shop for clothes and the grocery store to buy food. You go to the lake to fish, the ball game to cheer, and golf course for fun.
But church? Why go to there? Why get up early on one of your few off-days? Why go through the hassle of dressing up and the getting the kids ready? Why go to the trouble of finding a parking space near the front and pew space near the back? Why go to church?
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering about that little question, you’re not alone. Surveys tell us that as many as 80% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, yet only 20% of Americans attend church regularly. I guess some people look at going to church as a bother—an unnecessary burden to be avoided whenever possible—a perfectly good hour wasted in order to keep a wife or a preacher or a parent off their backs. Others see it as sort of like punching a spiritual clock or earning brownie points with their Maker.
But to someone who understands church and what it’s really all about, going to church can be the most spiritually fulfilling, inspiring thing you do all week. If Sundays aren’t the best day of your week, you’re doing it wrong.
If there is a Bible in your pew or on your smartphone, I want to invite you to open it up to Psalm 122. In this this Psalm David writes about a time when somebody invited him to attend church with them. I want you to see how David responds.
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1 NLT)
Another translation puts it this way:
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1 NIV)
Does that sound like a guy who was turned off by church? Who’d rather roll over and hit the snooze button? David got excited when he was invited to church. He was glad! He rejoiced! He can’t wait to get there. Why? Why was David fired up about the thing that so many people try to avoid today? What does he know that we don’t know about church?
As we walk through the rest of this psalm, David lays out three reasons why he was glad to go to the house of Lord—first is the praise of God, second is the people of God, and third is the peace of God. When these three elements are present in our churches today, Sunday will become the best day of your week.