“Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells” (Psalm 26:8).
David loved God’s house. When he was away, his heart yearned to be in the courts of the Lord.
I confess, I don’t always love being in God’s house. Sometimes I get distracted by the hard wooden bench beneath me or the way my dress sticks to my legs on a Caribbean morning. Amid the clamor of steel pan and drum, my ears miss the plenum of a pipe organ; my heart misses the hymns of my past. I yearn for coffee more than the absolution, because the neighborhood dogs barked all night. I wonder how long the service will last.
I am ashamed of this side of my nature, this one that is not God’s hot-blooded enemy, but worse—his lukewarm acquaintance. I tarnish his glory with my indifference. He should open the doors of his house and spit me out.
Then my wandering eyes settle on the cross and baptismal font, those visible reminders of God’s glory and grace. Forgiveness was won on the beams of Christ’s cross. There Jesus paid for my half-hearted praise. There new, true songs of joy and thanks are born. Grace flows from the font, where my sins were washed away in a flood of mercy.
In this house where believers have gathered in God’s name, where God’s Word of grace is spoken, God’s glory dwells among us.
Lord, give me a heart that yearns to be here and to sing your praise.