Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
How lovely is the place where you live, O Lord who rules over all! I desperately want to be in the courts of the Lord’s temple. My heart and my entire being shout for joy to the living God. Even the birds find a home there, and the swallow builds a nest where she can protect her young near your altars, O Lord who rules over all, my king and my God. Psalm 84.1-3
The Temple for the Jews was the place where God lived among the people. The Jews would travel from afar to the Temple to make their sacrifices and celebrate their feasts. The verses above express their desire and joy to be there. Today the temple of God is not a physical location. In Ephesians 2.19-22 we read that the saints in Christ are being built together into a dwelling place of God. The church is the dwelling place of God today. The church is not a physical building. It is a spiritual building where the saints abide in Christ and where God is present. I need to ask myself if I have the same desire and joy to be present in the church as the Jews had to be in the Temple. If not, why not? So often we do not show the same joy of being in the presence of God. Perhaps that is because we are focusing more on the other people who are there instead of focusing on God. The church is where God’s presence dwells today. May you and I feel the same joy today in his presence!