What did I bring to church this week? My kids. My purse. Pens for sermon notes. A mop for the rain that had dripped through the aging church roof.
On the surface I looked squeaky clean.
What else did I bring? A frowny face because my kids were annoying me. Distracted fingers that reached for my phone instead of the Bible in those minutes before church. Apathy about uncapping my pen for another sermon about stewardship. An eye roll over the unpatched roof.
Just beneath the surface, I looked pretty icky.
Satan is fine with me schlepping to church with my grudges, my smartphone, and my cynicism. But King David reminds me why I should actually bounce into God’s house: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. . . . For the Lord is good and his love endures forever” (Psalm 100:4).
The truth is that my heart isn’t automatically set to “thanksgiving.” Like an old car on a winter’s day, my heart needs some TLC in order to run properly. Before I roll out of bed on a Sunday (or any day), it helps me prepare my heart by opening my Bible and reading a verse or two. I see myself through God’s eyes: a sinner once barred from his presence; now busted free by God’s grace in Jesus. From my pillow it helps me to pray, “My Savior-God, you deserve my applause. Fill me with thankfulness as I worship and serve you today.”
Try it with me. We can bounce cuz we’re blessed.