I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD! Psalm 122:1
In Old Testament times to enter God’s presence meant to be in the tabernacle or temple for worship. There, God’s people in the house of the Lord would be in his presence, literally in Hebrew, “before his face.” We are privileged to enter God’s presence together as his people today, standing before his face as we hear his word and gather in his name! The Scripture reminds that we have been called into the fellowship of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. We experience that fellowship together with him as we gather for his worship!
Because that place is holy ground where God is present, we take time to prepare for that holy moment before him. One way that we do this together is with the time of Confession before our God. As we humble ourselves before him in the Confession, we then hear the Absolution and are cheered that there is a Savior who still speaks his forgiving grace upon us this day! There is another way we prepare for this holy moment before the Lord. We have now begun making use of “Etiquette for Worship” sheets. As I shared recently, we know that etiquette has to do with manners and behavior in reference to the company we keep. In this case we enter the presence of our Lord together.
So, this is not merely a list of “dos and don’ts,” but rather guidelines to aid us as we approach the worship of our God. Many folks have shared with me over the years that they wish to have some silence before the service, for example, that they might better prepare for worship in a time of prayer. So, one of the first of the guidelines is, “Entering with reverence, we prepare with prayer for the worship of our Lord.” We do this in faith in our God and in consideration for our neighbor by remaining silent as we prepare to seek his face together.
The psalmist reminds, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!” We are privileged to enter his presence as his people! Let us make use of this time before our God endeavoring to share reverent worship that we all might benefit by together!