An amiable person I'd like to think is also a friendly person. Is the Church we serve friendly?
From the 84 th Psalm, I'd like to select three images; a nest, a well and a door-keeper. It seems to
me that they can help us assess whether or not any church is friendly and welcoming!
1. The Nest! Ps.84:3 “Yea the sparrow hath found her an house and the swallow a nest where
she may lay her young.”
The Psalmist declares that the altars of the Lord's house can be compared to a nest. Think then of
the Church as a place to bring up the young in the faith, planting the seed of faith, where
believers can be baptized, confirmed. It is a place where occupants feel secure in the presence of
God and where the faithful grow and are nourished. Jesus makes a similar point in a negative
way when he said, speaking of Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37b: “How often have I desired to
gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not
willing!” The nest can be considered a place of safety; of salvation. How does your church
2. The Well! Ps.84:6 “Who going through the vale of misery, use it for a well.”
Of course the Psalm is not actually speaking about a well, but rather the strength and
encouragement that the presence of God gives to his people. Not everyone can relate to a well,
but all cultures can relate to the strength God gives to those going through a difficult time in their
lives. It could be illness, war, disappointment, disaster, etc., but the Church is called to be a
reservoir of hope. Life is not easy and even in the security of the nest there are challenges and
Jesus with the woman at the well, said in John 4:13: “Everyone who drinks this water will be
thirsty again but those who drink of the water I will give them will never be thirsty.” In Christ
then there is a chance of new life – a fresh beginning.
3. The Door-keeper! Ps.84:11 “I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God; than to
dwell in the tents of ungodliness.”
The Church is called to be a humble door-keeper, to point people to the way of salvation, to the
hope of eternal life. It has or should have the resources to help people challenged by the hard
knocks of life. We uphold the Saviour who said in John 10:9: “I am the door(gate). Whoever
enters by me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.” Do you believe this?
Is your church, is my church like this? If we want a people friendly church, then as the children's
hymn says, “What a friend we have in Jesus...” Be a friend of Christ, be a friend to one another.
Let the Church be indeed a safe nest, a deep well and a door-keeper for those who wish to come
into the presence of the Lord himself.