Scripture Focus: I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. — Psalm 122.1 (KJV)

When I was in elementary school I helped Mr. Hughes, the custodian, every Friday night get our church ready for Sunday services. In the beginning I was more of a hindrance than a help. He had great patience and slowly I learned. Never-the-less I could not resist the temptation to arrange the seating in the social hall as if it were seating on a train. Somehow this amused this no-nonsense but kind mentor. Unfortunately he would not allow me to shovel coal into the box that fed the huge furnace. I was not yet tall enough to reach the chain to ring the deep throated bell. I loved working with Mr. Hughes and being in the church. Perhaps these early experiences explain why I feel at home in churches of all sizes grand and small and without regard for denominational or faith identity. They are all sanctuaries. For me they are all holy ground. I feel that same joy on Sunday mornings as I stand at the door of our historic church welcoming members and visitors from around the world. The smiles on their faces confirm that they are also happy to be in God’s house. When the choir sings, Surley the Lord Is in This Place, I am warmed by its message. I am reminded of the thousands of saints who have worshiped here and found sanctuary in the house of a loving God.

Prayer Focus: Creator God, thank You for all of the houses of worship around the world. Remind us that we are family and that the church is not a building but a body of believers. Amen.