October 31

Psalm 24:7-10

“Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.” vs. 7

Those responsible for temple rituals in Jerusalem developed liturgies that could be used for special occasions and festivals. Fragments of those liturgies can be found in the psalms…they provide us windows into the worship practices of our ancestral faith community. Psalm 24 describes a kind of entrance ritual that involved a call for holiness on the part of worshippers and a ceremonial opening of the doors so that the King of glory might come in. It’s a reminder that worship is a holy activity that involves an encounter with the divine presence. Now it is true that God is never absent from us and is present in every time and circumstance. But it’s also true that there are occasions when we can expect more of a direct encounter with God, and corporate worship is intended to be one of those times. Well designed liturgies can lead us to contemplate the Mystery in deep and fulfilling ways. Songs, hymns, prayers, scripture readings, and sermons work together to give an experience of God that is beyond the ordinary. It’s really not a time for casual conversation or checking in with friends…that happens before or after the service. Worship calls for focus…a time to open our hearts and minds to the presence of God. As we meditate, watch, and listen, doors are lifted up and God comes close…and our famished souls are fed.

Thought for the Day: What happens for me during worship?

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