I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Peace be within your walls. For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the Lord, I will seek your good. – Psalm 122:1, 7-9 (NRSV)
I was glad when they said we could go back to the house of the Lord, gathering in-person again with plenty of precautions. I was glad to be face-to-face but not shoulder-to-shoulder. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it.
I was sad when they said it wasn’t safe again. Then I was glad when they said we’re back outside, here’s the login, click this link. I was thankful for innovation, creativity, and flexibility. Make your own home the house of the Lord.
I was glad when they prioritized safety and accessibility, honoring vulnerability and the mutual care of a covenant. Then I was sad when they shared the emails and calls, the threats and ultimatums, the pressure and weight and sleepless nights from trying to ensure that their particular house of the Lord was a safe house for all. There was no peace within the walls or within themselves.
There is something uniquely holy about being together physically in “the house of the Lord.” Not everyone feels safe yet. Innovation is still needed. Mutual care is a priority. Someday we can all safely go to the house. Until then, may we seek good and speak peace within our walls, within ourselves, for the sake of relatives and friends, and for the sake of the house of the Lord.
When it’s safe, Lord, we want to be in your house. Until then, for the sake of all, help us have peace.