I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord (Psalm 122:1). There is no doubt that my gladness knows no bounds today as we gather together in the Church one more time. This is surely a gathering of gladness. Today we take a first step to fully return to our Sanctuary to worship our God. It is a tentative step, but it is a good step, nonetheless. Tentative because we are not all here yet. It is a good one because it a gathering of gladness and joy.
In the last three months we have prayed about a day like this. Not just that a day like this will come, but that it comes with gladness. That a day like this will come when we shall gather unto joy and not unto sadness. We look back and we see that indeed we have reasons to rejoice. We prayed fervently that none should be missing when we gather back in our sanctuary, and indeed God has made it so. While we are not all here in the Sanctuary today, those who are not here are well and alive and in fact many of them are rejoicing with us online today. We praise our living God and give all glory and honor unto Him.
I have never considered what is going on right now as normal. It is not normal not to be able to come to our church building on Sundays to worship our God. Yes, I know that we are the Church and when we gather in Spirit online, our gathering is acceptable unto the Lord. However, the word of God says the disciples were gathered continually in the temple, praising and blessing God (Luke 24:53). Not to be able to gather in His temple is an aberration. It is not normal. Now we are here, we must rejoice, not because things are normal now, but because we know we serve a God who finishes everything He starts. Things are still far from what we would consider normal, but there is joy in the air. There is hope in the air. There is peace in the air. Like I said, we are not there yet. There are folks at home right now who are scared to death about being in the Sanctuary. There are folks also who will like to be here but cannot come because they have been told they are high risk. There are others who are not here because they have to stay home and watch their kids because kids are not allowed in the Sanctuary yet. So, we still have a long way to go. We are therefore, looking forward to that day when no one will be left behind in our gathering. However, every step of joy is a step of gladness. The Psalmist says in Psalm 27:4 – “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” It is a beauty to behold when one gazes at on the beauty of the Lord.
When we gather in the house of God, we bring encouragement to each other. I know many of the brethren are encouraged today as we gather. The word of God says we should not forsake the gathering of the brethren as some people like to do, but we must encourage one other, so much more as we see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25). This gathering of gladness today is encouraging somebody. This gathering is a blessing to someone. This gathering is a soul lifter. We may not be able to shake hands or hug each other yet, but that too is coming in time. Just keep your hope alive. None of us ever thought there will be a time when we would not be able to come to the church building for Service. It happened, and after it happened, we did not think today can come this year, but it is here. So, let us keep our hope alive and keep our faith strong. Faith accomplishes all things. Our Lord Jesus says, “Everything is possible for one who believes.”- Mark 9:23. He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).
It is not Eureka yet, but my brothers and sisters, I ask that you not despair. Our God’s will, will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. This too shall pass. In fullness of time our joy will be full. In the meantime, every opportunity we have, to gather, will be a gathering of gladness. When we are in the Sanctuary, we will dance like David did, we will worship like David did, and we will pray like David did. We will pray for the peace of our Jerusalem and everyone who loves it shall prosper.
– Pastor Simbo Odunaiya