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Welcomed to Worship

Welcomed to Worship
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.” 
Psalms 100:4a

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. 

Closing Prayer
Heavenly Father, that you welcome us to worship you, the Creator and Sustainer of life itself, staggers my finite mind! Yet, you truly do welcome us. Because of Jesus’ sacrificial death, his powerful resurrection, and his glorious ascension, we can humbly bow before you in glad and grateful worship! Amen.
Video: The Hallelujah Chorus by College Church This will make you smile! Produced by some of the members of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, they welcome you to worship God through singing the Hallelujah Chorus in a creative way.
Question for Reflection

Where have you felt welcomed to worship God?

Karen Bradley
March 31, 2021

I often feel moved to worship when I’m outside in nature. Recently, the desert of Arizona welcomed me to worship the Lord! The brilliant sunsets seemed to sing His praise with me!

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