Another short Psalm, psalm 122 begins with a fairly well known verse. It’s a song that was sung by the many pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem to bring their sacrifices and to worship the God that made them and redeemed them. It’s called a Psalm of Ascent because the travelers, no matter what direction they came from, would have the hill to climb upon which Jerusalem was built. On the journey up the hill they would sing, “I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

I have to admit that as a Pastor I have it pretty easy. I don’t get to decide whether I’m going to church on Sunday or not. Glad or sad, it makes no difference to me, I have to go! But most of you get to make the choice. That is the freedom that God programmed into us in creating us in His image. We don’t have to Love God. If we have to, it’s not love. As always, He wants our hearts, not just our outward observance of some ritual.

When I see the same people return to church week after week, I’m very moved. Sometimes, after certain sermons, I’m astounded that they return at all. It humbles me, blesses me, challenges me, encourages me and excites me to see faithfulness in coming to the house of the Lord. I have to realize that they’re not returning because of me. They come to worship our God. God is honored by that and all the rest of us are incredibly blessed by it.

On the other hand, how would you like it if your watch ticked one time and missed the next? Your heart beat one time and missed the next? Your child missed every other day at school? The engine of your car only hit on half its cylinders? Irregularity in any area of life causes problems. It was said about the early Christians, “… they continued steadfastly in the apostles, doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayer.” If you are “on and off” in your church attendance, it hurts everybody.

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11)