“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” -Psalm 130:5-6 (ESV)
I walked in to the sanctuary of the large Korean Assemblies of God church and I could feel it in an instant. Thick in the air among the gathered people was a feeling of anticipation, of excitement, of knowing that GOD would show up that morning.
This was not my first time to visit Promise Church in Flushing, NY, and because I had been there before, I had not just a hope, not just a desire, but an expectation that something special would happen that morning. I started to think though, “I’ve been here before but many of these others haven’t. They’ve not heard the choir sing and the band play or seen the dancers dance, so what is this expectation I sense from them?”
Take a moment and look back at the passage from Psalm 130. Imagine the watchman sitting at his post in the deep dark of night. The air has long since lost any heat from the day. The sky is dark with low-hanging clouds, a canopy of gray over a colorless landscape.
He counts the hours as they meander slowly by, each one seeming longer than the last. He waits. And waits. And waits. And waits for the morning to come. He is tired of waiting, sick of the boredom and loneliness and longs for day to appear. Think about this though: no matter how long the night seems, not for a moment does he question IF the morning will come. Of course it will come, because that’s what morning does.
He has an EXPECTATION that the sun will show up eventually, because that’s just what the sun does.
Imagine you and me and countless others across the globe, gathering together in the name of Jesus. We sing our normal songs and pray our normal prayers. We listen to talks and messages and sermons. We pass the plates or baskets or bags and sometimes give, sometimes not.
Why do we do it? Why take our schedules and gas money to go gather for our weekend routine?
Back in the worship service, the music started, the curtains opened, the service began and as we praised our God it hit me: the expectation that God will show up doesn’t come only from experience. It comes from understanding that God WANTS to visit His people and He is FAITHFUL to His word, that when Jesus says “wherever two or more are gathered in my name there I am there in the midst of them” (Mat. 18:20), He means it!
When we come together as God’s people, He WILL show up, because that’s just what God does. The question is, will our eyes, hearts and hands be open to welcome Him, or will we just go through the motions?
The next time you find yourself in the house of the Lord, don’t just hope He will show up, join me in expecting it, because just like morning always comes to welcome a new day, so does our faithful God.