Summary: This is a sermon I used as a children’s pastor.
Imagine with me. You are walking along a long dusty, hard road. It is hot and your feet hurt. Your mom and dad are beside you. You are going to church. Suddenly the start singing:
Psalm 100 (NIV)
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
Come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
And his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
Why on earth are they singing while they are walking to church? It’s hot and you’re tired.
Well a long time ago before there were cars or bicycles people had to walk everywhere. In ancient Israel there was only one church and it was in Jerusalem. That meant that people had to walk miles, and sometimes it took days for them to get to church. Most people only went to church only once or twice each year. Imagine only being able to go to church twice a year. What would you miss? Singing? Friends? We couldn’t have a Christmas program because we wouldn’t have time to practice. What would it be like to only go to church twice a year? Would you be happy when you did get to go? The people who used to sing this song were happy. They said, “Shout for joy.” Why don’t you shout for joy? Go ahead shout.
They were also thankful that they got to go to church. They “entered the gates [or doors] with thanksgiving.” They wanted to show God how thankful they were because he had been good to them. God took care of them, and he takes care of us today. In what ways does God take care of us today? Are you thankful for Church? When you are on the way to church do you sing songs or thank God for taking care of you?
Let’s pretend that we are those people going to church. We are going to walk around and read this song.