I wonder what your answer would be if I asked you what do you miss most from before we went into lockdown? You might say work or school or playing sports, going to watch football games, going to the gym or you might say you miss McDonalds or KFC!
I hope some of you might say I really miss meeting together.
I miss going to youth on Friday nights.
I miss going to church seeing my friends.
I miss singing songs together worshipping God.
I miss being taught about God at Church.
Maybe you miss the tea, coffee and juice after the service?
Well, as is so often the case, the Bible has something we can read which helps us to express how we are feeling to God. If there’s one place in the Bible you should get to know well if you want to learn about:
crying out to God,
singing praises to God,
praying to God,
being confused and frustrated with how things are...
it’s the Psalms.
If you open your Bible in the middle, chances are you will open it in the book of Psalms. Psalms are prayers and worship songs written thousands of years ago yet when you read them you realise they apply in many ways to what we are going through today.
When it comes to the topic of missing things, Psalm 84 really is a helpful read. Particularly missing gathering together like we do on a Sunday morning at church.
Psalm 84: 1-2
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
I wonder how you feel when you wake up on a Sunday morning with the prospect of going to church.
Maybe you wish you could go back to sleep?
Maybe you would rather watch TV or play on your computer?
Maybe you would rather go and play football.
For the writer of this Psalm, who is likely David, he would rather be nowhere else than where God’s presence is. Worshipping together with God’s people.
The words in English don’t adequately put across the sheer desire that David is saying here.
“My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.” (verse 2)
The original language talks about being like a lion chasing after its prey. So desirest to get into Church, imagine running along St John’s Road like a lion chasing after a gazelle just to get to Church!
And when it says “my heart and flesh sing for joy”, the words in Hebrew talk about almost wailing with happiness at the prospect.
When Jen and I used to have a golden retriever called Gracie, sometimes she would be so excited to see us she make this weird crying noise. Like so overcome with excitement. That’s what David meant here, so overcome with wanting to be where His God is and to worship Him.
“Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! (Verses 3-4)
David is even jealous of the birds that might find a place to dwell 24/7 at the temple.
David cant be there yet he misses it so much he’s thinking look even the birds have a happy place to live how great is the dwelling place of God.
At the moment we can’t meet like we normally would and I hope you might find some words to put to your feelings from Psalm 84.
It is good that we would miss meeting together to worship our Saviour and hear from God’s word. God did not design us to Zoom forever! Whilst we are thankful for the technology we have, let’s keep our heads up and remember one day (hopefully soon) we will be able to run along St John’s Road like a lion right into church see our church family and praise our God together.