The Peace of Worship
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. Psalm 84:10
I was born and raised in the Mar Thoma Church, so the liturgy has always been familiar to me. And yet, as I have grown older, the liturgy has come to mean so much more. As the chant “Shobha Niranjo” begins, the curtains open, and the scent of incense begins to fill the sanctuary, I have in recent years begun to feel an overwhelming sense of calm during weekly worship. It is a time for us to put aside our worldly cares, the stresses of our lives, and to cast those concerns at the feet of our Savior.
The Psalmist writes that he would “rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” This must be our constant reminder as we consider our own participation in communal worship. King David wanted to build the temple, but was not permitted to do so because of his life of war and bloodshed. 1 Chronicles 22:8. Nevertheless, “zeal for [God’s] house consumed [him].” Psalm 69:9. Many generations later, his descendant Jesus, consumed with the same zeal, would drive the money changers out of the temple, crying “you have turned my Father’s house into a den of thieves!” Matthew 21:13.
Too often we are not mindful that we should prefer to be simple doorkeepers in service to God in our communal worship. Too often we bring the ways and concerns of the “tents of the wicked” into our churches: stress, hate, anger, gossip, bickering, grudges and pride. Like the Psalmist, we must recognize that each day in simple worship is better than a thousand anywhere else, and that we should always long for our return to the peace and quiet of worship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
PRAYER: Dear God, Accept me as Your doorkeeper. Teach us to have simple hearts that are always focused on service and worship of You. Help us to obtain peace from our worship, to strengthen us in our daily lives. Amen.
Thought for the Day: When was the last time that zeal for God’s house consumed you?
Ajit Thomas, Carmel MTC, Boston