“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalms 100:1-5 ESV
This Psalm came to mind when I read this sentence in Breakfast with Bonhoeffer: “Fellowship can be entered when participants enter not as demanders but as thankful recipients.”
Many churchgoing people are recovering demanders. Some know it; others are still figuring it out. Were they to write a Psalm about how to enter church, it may quip, “I’ll enter so long as it suits me.” They may not say it, but they enter the court with expectations, maybe even unspoken demands.
Psalm 100 gives it’s own demands that can help recovering demanders:
- Make a joyful noise – unashamedly
- Serve with gladness – service has a way of producing thankfulness and squelching demanding
- Come with singing – indicates coming with a participatory spirit rather than a sit-and-watch posture
- Know the Lord is God – the focus is not on any human leader or human preferences
- Enter with thanksgiving...Give thanks to Him – indicates entering already in a thankful spirit
- Bless His name – this mindset puts the follower/the created/the child in the right position under their Leader/their Creator/their Father
Psalm 100 establishes a case plan for recovering demanders.