by Verena Johnson
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I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’ (Psalm 122:1).
My mum loved Sundays and going to ‘the house of the Lord’. I remember being woken up on Sundays by Christian songs and choruses like ‘This is the day that the Lord has made’ being played quite loudly on our record player. Yes, those were the days of the black vinyl disc, for people who remember them.
My bedhead happened to be on the same floorboard as the record player, so I could always feel the bass vibrations. If that didn’t wake me up and mobilise me, the door would be flung open with some catchphrase like ‘Rejoice, it’s the Lord’s day!’ or ’Hooray, we get to go to church!’
It didn’t matter if I had friends sleeping over. It didn’t matter how late I’d gotten to bed either. In fact, Mum used to say that the later I got to bed, the more I probably needed to go to church to either thank God or repent.
Whenever I read this verse, I think of Mum and how she rejoiced about going to church to worship God. It was hard not to get swept up in it.
I have been trying to remember the last time I truly rejoiced and was actually excited about going to church. Yes, it’s my usual practice, and I’m happy to go. I look forward to catching up with my friends there. I expect that God will speak to me through the service. I like being with him and my fellow Christians … but rejoicing and excitement?
Then I remembered how it felt on those first few Sundays that we could finally worship together again after all the COVID restrictions. How excited we all were to be able to go to church again. There was a lot of rejoicing then when it was all new and fresh.
So tomorrow is Sunday again. Another chance to rejoice as we go to the house of the Lord. Another chance to get excited about being with him and our fellow Christians. Another chance to rejoice that we can go to church and worship God freely in this country.
I might even put on one of my Christian CDs!
Dear awesome God, we sometimes forget what an amazing privilege it is to worship you and how wonderful it is that we can worship you together as a church. Stir our hearts so we can truly rejoice as we go to the house of the Lord. Amen.
Verena is a Church Worker Support Officer for the LCA Church Worker Support Department, where it is her privilege to support congregations, pastors, lay workers, employees and volunteers of LCA. In her spare time, she is involved in drama ministry, women’s ministry and prayer ministry. She has three children and eight grandchildren in three different states.