I enjoy Fridays. Unlike a lot of pastors who take Mondays off, I work that day. Keeps me out of trouble. I started taking Fridays off years ago. I never looked back.
One of the things I look forward to that day of the week, among others, is reading the paper with more leisure than the other days afford. Something dawned on me this past Friday as I perused the Calendar section of the Orlando Sentinel. I have no sense of loss that my delight in Jesus keeps me from certain pleasures, if you want to call them that, in this world. I don’t feel that I am missing a thing in choosing not to view “Fifty Shades of Grey,” though I must admit a day when I would not have thought that way. Thank you, Lord, for delivering me from bondage to lust. I don’t feel cheated that the club scene doesn’t make its way on to our weekend calendar, especially on Saturday nights.
Why is that? Because I want to be able to get up and go to church the next day. And that’s not just because church is what I do for a living. I have spent more Sundays that I would like to admit without a pulpit charge and I still went to church on those days. I agree wholeheartedly with the Psalmist in Psalm 84:10.
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Talk about a comparison! The poet of Israel wouldn’t trade one day in God’s courts for a thousand some place else. I can think of a lot of places and things I thoroughly enjoy, but nothing, no way, no how trumps the pleasure I have in Sunday worship. I can think of several reasons why that is true even over sleeping in, watching TV, going to the beach, eating brunch out, or whatever.
First, and the best of all reasons, God shows up at church. At least He does for me. Psalm 63:2 happens for me all the time.
Second, I hear the word of God preached. Well, in my case, I get to do the preaching. Double bonus. I get built up in my most holy faith as a result (Acts 20:32).
Third, I get to hang out with saints. That’s what the Bible calls every believer. And they are the excellent ones in whom is all my delight (Psalm 16:3). I even get to eat with them tomorrow evening when we gather for family night!
I could go on. I wonder sometimes if we take for granted just how much the Lord has done for us in redeeming us from tents of wickedness and transporting us to His very own courts, even if we are only keepers at the door?
No comparison. No way. No how.