Summary: David got excited when he was invited to the house of the Lord. He was glad! He rejoiced! Why? Because he loved the PEOPLE of God!
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 1/31/16
• Bumper Video: I Love Sundays (People)
A mother went to wake her son for church one Sunday morning. When she knocked on his door, he said, “I’m not going!” “Why not?” asked his mother. “I’ll give you two good reasons,” he said. “One, they don’t like me. Two, I don’t like them.” His mother replied, “I’ll give you two good reasons why YOU WILL go to church. One, you’re 47 years old. Two, you’re the pastor!”
I promise you my wife and I have never had a conversation like that. Quite the contrary. I love Sundays. Sundays are the highlight of my week and I look forward to being here with all of you each week. I hope the same is true for you, but I realize that not everyone feels that way about church.
Many of us grew up in situations where Sunday was full of conflict or the church we attended was boring. Maybe your parents forced you to go to church and you would have rather been anywhere else! Those early experiences tend to stick with us. I really love Christian comedian Michael Junior’s testimony about his early church experiences, so I want to play a clip for you from his standup routine.
• Video: Michael Junior Testimony
Maybe some of you can relate to Michael Junior. So it might come as a surprise when I tell you that Sundays are meant to be the best day of your week! And church ought to be the best hour of your Sunday. To someone who understands church and what it’s really all about, going to church can be the most fulfilling, inspiring thing you do all week. One person who knows all about that is King David.
If there is a Bible in your pew or on your smartphone, I want to invite you to open it up to Psalm 122. Psalm 122:1 is our anchor verse for this series on Sundays because in this Psalm David writes about a time when somebody invited him to attend church with them and this is how David responded:
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1 NIV)
Unlike many people today, David didn’t dread going to church. He looked forward to it. He didn’t see it as a perfectly good hour wasted in order to keep his wife or priest or his parents off his back. David was excited about going to “the house of Lord” and we should be too.
As David continues in Psalm 122, he 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.
Last Sunday I talked about that first reason and explored what it really means to praise God, why we do it on Sunday mornings, and what happens to us when we “praise the name of the Lord.” This week, I want to look the second reason David gives us to love Sundays. He highlights this reason, saying, “Jerusalem is built as a city where people come together. That is where the different families go, the families of the Lord” (Psalm 122:3-4 NLV).
The Temple, or “the house of the Lord,” was located in the heart of Jerusalem so Jerusalem became a gathering place for God’s people. Another translation puts it this way: “All the tribes of Israel—the Lord’s people—make their pilgrimage here” (Psalm 122:4 NLT). In other words, I love Sundays because I love the people of God!
Church is about people, it’s about family. In the short little bumper video we watched, three different people said, “I love Sundays because that’s when I feel I’m a part of God’s family.”
I’m reminded of the old Sunday School rhyme: “Here is the church and here is the steeple. Open the door and see all the people.” Do you remember that? The only problem with it is that it draws a distinction between the church and the people. The Bible tells us however that the church isn’t a place—it’s people. Church isn’t just something you attend. It’s something you are!
The Bible uses a lot of metaphors to describe the church, but the most persistent is that of family. In the New Testament, believers call each other brothers and sisters, the book of Romans describes our “adoption” as “children of God” (Romans 8:14-15), the church itself is called the household of God, and in his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul writes: “Now you…are not foreigners or strangers any longer, but are citizens together with God’s holy people. You belong to God’s family” (Ephesians 2:19 NCV).