If anyone could say, “Been there, done that,” it would have been Marco Polo. The Venetian traveler put on his hiking boots at seventeen and didn’t return home for twenty-four years. His itinerary included stops in Israel, Iran, and a seventeen-year stay in China. Marco Polo served as a governor and diplomat, but is most remembered for his ability to wow audiences with tales of his travels. His book, The Travels of Marco Polo, is considered a geographical classic. When it came to sightseeing there was no use in trying to “one-up” Marco Polo—he had been there, done that! When it comes to worship, do you ever feel you have “been there, done that”? Sure, it’s a new Sunday, but it seems like the same old stuff. If you have, then you can relate to the city gates David describes in Psalm 24. This Old Testament song may have been written when David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. David had defeated his enemies and captured the City of Zion—a city many thought unconquerable. As David leads the parade through the gates that will take the Ark to its rightful place, there is excitement in the air! It’s electric. There is a sense of patriotism and enthusiasm about all God is doing. And David writes:
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors , that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty – he is the King of glory. (Psalm 24:7-10 NIV)
David is employing personification, attributing human characteristics to the city gates. In those days the gates to the city were like the town hall. All the official business was carried out at the gates. All the important people met at the gates. You can imagine that these old gates had seen it all. The big brass had walked through them; important cases were tried before them; divine prophetic messages had been given in front of them. To the gates, all the current hoopla was nothing to get worked up about. David thought different. The King of Glory was coming! So he proclaims, “Oh gates lift up your heads! You don’t want to miss this one! This is God himself in your midst!”
It is easy to come to worship with a ho-hum “been there, done that” attitude! We forget that the King of Glory—the one who gives us life, fights our battles, and provides our peace—dwells in our midst. Perhaps this weekend we need to ask God to take away our “been there, done that” apathy and replace it with the heartfelt excitement and enthusiasm of David: “Wow! The King of glory is in our midst!”
MY PRAYER: Father, this weekend give me the eyes and heart of David. I want to see you as he did: the LORD Almighty, the King of glory!