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For the director of music. According to gittith. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
The psalmist had experienced the power of community. That’s why he had a deep desire to go to the temple and meet with God. His whole person cried out “for the living God.” God has never been quarantined to one place. He is always available but there is something special about coming together with other believers purposed to praise God.
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. And certainly the church is not a perfect place. It is full of imperfect people, just like you. But it is God’s provision for believers to come together and worship Him.
Experiencing the power of community in worship is just as important today as it was for the psalmist. Those who treat going to church lightly treat Jesus lightly. We have to ask and answer the question: Does my soul yearn to worship God in the community of other believers?
Father, never let me take the “Body of Christ,” the church, lightly. Help me to engage in a community of believers in order to praise You with one heart and one voice. Help me experience the power of the church. In Jesus’ name. Amen.