Thoughts for the Day

Saturday, 23rd July 2022: Being a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord

Church Praise Temple God Psalm 84

Reading : Verses from Psalm 84

Church door

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise. Selah.

For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favour and honour.
No good thing does the Lord withhold
from those who walk uprightly....

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Throughout my ministry I have been given keys to different churches, mostly huge bunches of them. In two cases they included specially made keys at a forge, about a foot long. They were too big to hang on hooks or put in a bag, and anyway one needed this key and all the other keys that opened different doors and safes inside the church. But at least they were difficult to lose! Many churches need a number of bunches of keys for the church to be open each day for visitors. Having the church keys also means that people come knocking for the keys to do the flowers or play the organ, or do a host of other jobs.

Leaving church doors unlocked isn't always the answer. Someone will leave a door open, a bird will fly in and then cannot find its way out. I've tried every strategy including the latest - to put a try of water near an open door to attract the bird to drink and then fly out the door. The result? More birds flew in!

Keys have therefore played a huge part in my ministry. To be effectively one of the doorkeepers means that we can put a barrier between those who want to enter the church for worship, or we can open it to all who want to worship! Because of this perhaps, Psalm 84 is a firm favourite of mine. To hold the keys not to the temple, but to the church is an honour, and I praise God every time I find a church open, for I would truly rather spend time in contemplation and worship there than anywhere else.

Selah = It means to pause and consider.


Lord God Almighty,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
we come before You this day
in humble adoration.
May we support our churches
to help keep them open,
and be grateful for all who
are doorkeepers.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to listen to this song by the Fisherfolk based on Psalm 84:

Or this recording of Psalm 84 by Westminster Abbey choir. The pointing for the words has been added afterwards, and is incorrect, but at least it gives you the words of the psalm:

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