We arrived at the castle at midday, and stood in line to under the merciless July sun beating down on us. I couldn’t wait to see the elaborate decor of the palace, the marbled pillars, the grand staircase, but what I looked forward to the most was touring the throne room. We waited in that crowded, sweaty line for what seemed like forever. We drank all our water. We ate all our snacks. We reviewed all the information in our guidebook. And still we waited.
Just as we were starting to worry about getting a really bad sunburn, the castle gates finally opened. A guard in old silver armor motioned us inside. The cold air of the dark stone castle instantly hit our faces, and our eyes tried to adjust. Tourists scattered this way and that to wander the old rooms aimlessly, but I knew exactly where I was headed. I even knew the way there.
“Come on!” I urged Greg, taking his hand and leading him left through a corridor. “The throne room!”
“Are you sure this is the way?” he wondered. “You don’t even have the map open.”
But I had committed the castle map to memory while we waited in line, and I knew the twists and turns by heart. Greg followed me deeper and deeper into the castle, until we arrived at a large staircase leading up to heavy iron doors. The doors were opened to us. This was it! The throne room of the king, decorated in gold and grandeur, was even more beautiful than all the pictures had shown. I tried to imagine a king and queen of centuries ago, sitting on the elaborate massive thrones. What a life!
Have you ever been inside the throne room of a palace? Have you seen a movie or a show of a king and queen sitting on the throne? What would the most beautiful throne room look like in your imagination?
Somewhere in heaven, God is sitting on his heavenly throne right now, and I know it’s even more wonderful than anything we have seen or imagined. Did you know that the Bible says there is a way to feel like we are in that wonderful palace of heaven? Psalm 100 says that when we give Jesus our thanksgiving and praise, we enter through the gates and the courts of God. I know that doesn’t really happen yet - because that’s a throne room I still haven’t seen in real life. So what does this mean? I think this means that when we worship God with hearts full of love, when we sing for joy, praise His name, and thank Him for all the many blessings He’s given us - those songs and praises come right up to God’s ears inside His actual throne room.
Can you picture Him sitting there now? Sing a worship song with your family, shout some praises, or talk to Jesus in prayer about all the many things you’re thankful for. And when you do - picture God sitting on that gorgeous golden throne, smiling right back at you!
- Ask each family member: what is your favorite praise song? Why is it your favorite?
- What are some things you feel so happy for, you could actually shout for thanks about?
- Read Psalm 100 together with your family. What is your favorite part? What does this teach us about Jesus?
- Older kids and Parents: does worship, thanksgiving and praise help us enter more fully into the presence of God? Why would this be, and how does it work? What is the message Psalm 100 is trying to teach us?