Psalm 100, in addition to its call to worship, tells us how we should serve in the local congregation. Many people serve out of a compulsion, or a sense of duty, a feeling that I ought to serve because it’s my turn. Others might feel like they are serving their leaders or the body of Christ in general.
Psalm 100 verse 2 says “Serve the LORD with gladness.” It’s a great reminder that it’s the Lord that we serve – that we’re not doing this because it’s our turn or our duty, we are serving Him because He is the Lord. He owns us, He made us, and He purchased us with His blood to be a people of His own possession.
We don’t serve in the local body because everyone needs to do their part or any of the other rules that we learned in kindergarten – fairness, doing our part, many hands make light work, any of that. We serve because it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves. We serve the Lord. It is true that we should serve one another, that I ought to look after you in the body of Christ, and you should look after me. But our service, our work and toil and the taking of our time for others instead of spending it on ourselves, we do it because we are serving the Lord.
Colossians 3:23-24 is one of the New Testament analogs of this passage in Psalm 100. It says:
23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
So everything we do, ought to be done with the knowledge and the attitude that we serve the Lord, and not men. It is the Lord Christ that we serve.
Secondly, our service ought to be done with gladness. Instead of compulsion, or duty driving us, our service ought to be done because we are glad to give to our Creator, and our work and our toil is done to please Him.
Gladness, in the case of Psalm 100, can also be translated as rejoicing or mirth. When I think of the word mirth, I think of giggling and laughter. When was the last time you mopped up a spilled glass of water or set up tables and chairs with joy and rejoicing and gladness? That is what this verse says – serve the Lord, serve your creator, with joy, with gaiety, with pleasure, with mirth.
Where does this joy and gladness come from? It comes from a deep-seated knowledge that our Lord is worthy of our service. It comes from gratitude and thankfulness for what He has done for us.
May we all view our service in the same way, and may we serve the Lord with gladness.