Etched in light wood above the doorway to the sanctuary were the words:
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.” Psalm 100:4a
Sunday after Sunday, these 10 words welcomed me to worship.
The church’s A-frame sanctuary pointed to the sky. A great, marble altar graced the front. Rows of immovable wooden pews filled the sacred space. The majestic pipe organ commanded the balcony. Week after week, year after year, I read the letters in the light wood as I passed through the doorway, through “his gates… and his courts…”
Here, I felt wholly welcomed to worship, as if God himself invited me to enter, to give thanks, to sing praise. And I did. With hymns and liturgy, with Scripture readings and communion, I worshiped with my brothers and sisters in Christ. In that sacred space, I first considered global work.
Some years later, on a Sunday morning, I sat beneath an acacia tree in a village in Kenya. No A-frame sanctuary. No marble altar. No rows of pews. No pipe organ. No etched words. Yet, here too, I felt wholly welcomed to worship God. In that sacred space, I gave thanks and sang praise with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Welcome, sister in Christ! God welcomes you with 10 words: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise!” Whether you are in a cathedral or under an acacia tree, in a school auditorium or a stone church, God welcomes all to worship Him.
Where have you felt welcomed to worship God?