Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise!
Praise Him, bless His Name.
For Adonai is good.
His lovingkindness endures forever,
and His faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:4-5, TLV
How do we enter our LORD’s gates? In other words, when we enter our congregation’s parking lot, are we in an attitude of worship and praise? Or, finding the best parking spot? When we enter the building, are we attentive to what others are wearing, or joyful to share a time of worship together?
Worship began at the gates, before the Jewish people entered the courts. That means, theoretically, their attitude of worship began before the “service.”
Getting a young family out the door for services is no small task, these days. How do we prepare our hearts for worship when Junior dirties his diaper just as we head out the door, or little Sally throws a temper tantrum over a forgotten toy? Perhaps we can take some cues from the ancients.
Preparing for the Shabbat (the Sabbath)
Did you know there were no other days of the week to the Jewish people, only Shabbat? All the other days were, seven days before Shabbat, six days before Shabbat, five days before Shabbat, and so on until Erev Shabbat — the evening of Shabbat, Friday. This kept their focus on the Sabbath — always mindful, preparing, purposeful — because it was the most important day of the week.
What if we treated our “Sabbath” in that manner? We treat the other days as preparation days for the best day of the week. Not just what we’ll wear, but perhaps how we can bless others, how we can teach our children ways to worship and honor the LORD. Taking moments to pause and reflect and be in awe and wonder of God’s love and majesty. Develop new traditions for your family, or for yourself.
All so that when we enter those gates we are ready to rejoice and worship! Then when Junior dirties his diaper and Sally fusses, we’re already in an attitude of worship because we’ve steeped in it all week long. Kind of nice, yes?
Please pray Psalm 122.