In relation to events that happen at gates, we talked earlier about shopping malls and the lobbies of some major buildings. It’s interesting to see how even some larger churches may have a bookstore, a café or two, a children’s play area, or even a broadcast station.
Times have not really changed much. As we look in the Bible, we see glimpses of the activities around the gates of the temple. Some were good, and some were not so good. The gate, whether a temple gate or city gate, was the popular place—the center of activity and interaction. As you entered the gate, you had multiple opportunities to mingle.
Why is this significant? We know a lot about Solomon. He had hundreds of wives, and he was astronomically wealthy. He was also a brilliant architect. In fact, the temple he built was strategically constructed. The temple grounds were fashioned so worshippers had a place of security and fellowship.
Our focus centers on relationships, specifically, as we gather for worship. We were created for relationships, and the activities at the gate were communal. So, what types of community events can we identify at our gates? We gather together to worship. We stand outside the worship center before entering so we can greet others. Then, together, we enter a time to worship corporately.
Yet, it is important to remember that while gathering together is crucial, the main reason is worshipping our Lord together. That was the purpose of worshipping at the temple in ancient times. Community worship. After all, we get to worship Him together when we are in heaven, so we practice here while we wait.
Our Faith Connections Challenge: Share your excitement when you gather with friends for worship. Consider it a practice before the main event. How will you prepare to worship this weekend?