Read Psalm 122
A song of ascents. Of David.
1 I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
2 Our feet are standing
in your gates, Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem is built like a city
that is closely compacted together.
4 That is where the tribes go up—
the tribes of the Lord—
to praise the name of the Lord
according to the statute given to Israel.
5 There stand the thrones for judgment,
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
8 For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.
After a long pilgrimage, the Jewish people were at the gates of their beloved Jerusalem. The temple in Jerusalem would be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant and the throne of King David. With glad hearts, they said: “Let us go to the House of the Lord!” What a glorious time this must have been as they celebrated the priestly worship of God in the temple, as well as the kingly reverence of God at the throne of David. Their long pilgrimage had ended and it was time to gather for worship in the “House of the Lord”.
The past couple of years have taught us many things, but one of the most notable is the importance of worshipping corporately alongside other believers. We know the church is not a building, but the assembly of God’s people gathered together. There is something undeniably powerful about gathering with the body of Christ for worship, prayer, fellowship, communion, baptisms and preaching.
Since Christ ascended back to Heaven, the body of Christ (His church) has gathered regularly for preaching, prayer, fellowship, communion, confession, and songs. It’s why Old Testament scholar Derek Kinder said; “What Jerusalem was to the Israelites, the Church is to the Christian.” Or in the words of 14th Century theologian Martin Luther: “Our Jerusalem is the Church and our temple is Christ. Wherever Christ is preached and the sacraments are rightly administered, there we are sure God dwells and there is our temple, our tabernacle, our cherubim, and our mercy seat. For there, God is present with us by His Word.”
The good news for the church today is Jesus is the true King. He reigns in His holy temple, full of glory and honor, and is worthy of our praise. May we gather as the people of God each week with our churches, lifting our voices in song and prayer, receiving communion, celebrating baptisms, hearts filled with the Holy Spirit, and minds renewed by the preaching of the Word.
- Gathering for worship each week is such a privilege and freedom we have in Christ. What aspect of gathered worship do you cherish the most?
- How would you describe the difference between a weekly small group and the weekly assembly of God’s people? Why are they both so important to our spiritual worship and discipleship?
- Have you ever found yourself going through the motions during a Sunday gathering? How can you prevent your heart from treating it as just part of your weekly routine?
Father, thank you for the freedom and ability to gather together with the body of Christ to lift high your name. We repent for the times we have gone through the motions or treated it as a box to check. Help me center my heart on you. Thank you for your Church. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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5 thoughts on “Psalm 122”
When I think of believers around the world who at this very moment may be isolated, hiding and fearful their faith may lead to death, while we may freely gather to worship without fear, it deeply humbles me. May we be awakened out of apathy to rejoice in gathering, for to love God is to love His people. In the message on Sunday, Nate said “We gather to remind ourselves of the goodness of the gospel.” May we never take for granted the beauty of the body of Christ and rejoice in gathering to corporately offer our praise to Him.
We are fortunate to be able to worship corporately each week. I cannot imagine how different my life would be without this each Sunday. To be surrounded by fellow believers, worshipping together fills me with love, joy, hope and thankfulness, and prepares me to go out and love others and share the gospel. .
If verses 6-9 are read thinking on the parallel Martin Luther drew between Jerusalem and the Church, it calls us as believers to pray for peace for and within the Church. It reminds me of Paul’s call for unity in Ephesians 4, and that we are all on mission together to serve God. We should pray for the Church, particularly peace and security for those who cannot gather corporately and are persecuted right now. But we should also pray for unity within the Church, and work together to fight against division that is rampant right now.
We must never take for granted the blessing of being born in a country where we can come together and worship the Lord freely, without fear of someone “finding out”, and in which ever building we may choose.