Monday, November 2, 2015

a question about celebration

And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered.
2 Chronicles 5:6

At the consecration of the brand new temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, Solomon threw a party like Israel had never seen. And it was all an act of worship. He was celebrating the worship of God as His presence now dwelt in Jerusalem. The ark was brought to the temple, and the joy of the people at the presence of God was the most visible act of worship you can imagine.

I've sometimes heard of Sunday services referred to as "worship celebrations", but this scene at the dedication of the temple has to be hard to beat. So many animals were offered in sacrifice that they lost count. They didn't even bother to try. Imagine that... what if Christians gave so much in an offering that the ushers had to get wheelbarrows and couldn't count it all? That's the kind of joy that went on in Jerusalem on that day.

It makes me want to check my heart when I enter church on Sunday. Am I there to joyfully celebrate my salvation? Am I there out of gratitude to God for what Jesus did for me, or is it just duty? The soul that delights in God will have a party in mind when it worships. And it is a joy that does not fade. We'll be celebrating at the supper of the Lamb, so shouldn't we celebrate at His Table with the congregation on the Lord's Day?

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