Living in the Parsonage…

Posted: September 15, 2014 in psalms

I grew up in a parsonage. You know those houses that were built for the pastor and his family so they won’t have to worry about their rent, lights and water? My room back then was painted sky blue in which I chose the color myself. I have lots of memories living in the parsonage, but growing up, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let my family live in one. So it is surprising when the psalmist said…

One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
Psalm 27:4

Seriously? The psalmist wants to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life? I find it hard to fathom. As a youth pastor, it is hard to let people come into the church building. The youth would want to meet elsewhere. So encountering this verse, it made me study all the more.

What is in the temple that the psalmist wanted to spend his days there?

First, the temple signifies the Lord’s presence. It is the place where God is. For the Israelites, traveling from their place towards Jerusalem to be in the temple will cost them a lot of money and a number of days on foot or on a beast of burden. It meant keeping in mind constantly of the purpose, to have that shadow of God’s presence.

Second, they would keep in mind that going to the temple means worshiping God. They would be bringing with them their offerings. They would be meeting God and it would not be empty handed. Worshiping in the temple is an experience the Israelites want to encounter.

Third, the temple meant a time of seeking the Lord, putting God in the priority list and forgetting everything else. The main goal is God. The main motivation for the journey is God.

So how do we connect to this?

We don’t have to go to the church to feel the presence of God for He is Immanuel, God with us. We can worship Him anytime and anywhere. We can, however, treat the place with sanctity, to remind us of God’s holiness. We can be cautious in our words while we are inside the compound for we know that God can hear. We can turn the place into an area of worship, of where we can think of God and what He has done in our lives.

Come into His presence. I may not want to live in a parsonage, but I sure do miss hanging out in a place where I can seek God anytime without distraction.


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