· “How lovely is your dwelling place,
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young--
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.[c]
· 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.[d]
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
· 8 Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, God of Jacob.
9 Look on our shield,[e] O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
· 10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
· 12 Lord Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you.
This lovely Psalm is written by the sons of Korah. The sons of Korah were the gatekeepers and custodians of the temple (1 Chron 9:19-21) Essentially, they were the church janitors. Rather than being upset at their relatively humble station, they rejoiced at the blessing of being in the temple constantly. They rejoice that they got to spend time in the temple, the symbolic location of God’s presence on earth. This psalm overflows with the joy of relationship with God. In the Bible we notice that from the very first, God is relational. The promise of Christmas is found in the very name that was given to the saviour Jesus – Immanuel – meaning ‘God with us’ (Matt 1:23, Isa 7:14). Jesus came to earth to dwell with people because he desires a relationship with people.
Just as the sons of Korah found joy in their relationship with God through their work in the temple so we can find joy in a relationship with Jesus no matter what we are doing this Christmas or throughout the year. At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus, the one who came to dwell with people, the one who we can have a relationship with right now
The sons of Korah worship God and the psalmists express that they can’t live without desiring to be with God. The Psalmist declares: “How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.” (Psalm 84:1-2). What a beautiful cry! His very soul desires to be with God. There is a deep cry and a deep desire found there. Though the Psalmist surely recognizes the physical beauty of the temple he most desires the ‘living God.’ The Psalmists desire the living God because of the opportunity to dwell with Him. As verses 10-12 show it is better to spend one day dwelling in the presence of God than a thousand days somewhere else, doing something else.
The Psalmists are constantly looking at God and because their focus is on him, their priorities are shaped by their relationship with God. If this season (or any season) is threatening to overwhelm you, you can take comfort in knowing that anyone can go to God and find rest with him. “Have you found rest in God, or are you still wandering and restless, as so many people are? God offers you peace. Even the swallow found “a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar.” Jesus doesn’t have any prerequisites - we don’t have to have a big party, expensive gifts, or eloquent Christmas letters to approach him. All we need is an open heart and a willingness to be in relationship.
So, this Christmas what are you looking at? Where is your heart steering you this season? The essential element of Christmas is relationship – with Jesus and with people. Inevitably if you look to the externals and cultural aspects of the Christmas season for fulfillment you will be disappointed. Only relationships will endure, and only Jesus can satisfy. Only in a relationship with God can we find contentment, peace and refreshment. CS Lewis said in Mere Christianity “But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else…”” When you experience a taste of dwelling with God, it is a place you want to go back to again and again. Just as the sons of Korah looked to God and found joy in dwelling with Him, so too can we. This Christmas look to Jesus and you will find him, and you just may find that he is what you were looking for all along.
 Boice, J. M. (2005). Psalms 42–106: An Expositional Commentary (p. 691). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
 CS Lewis Mere Christianity pg 227