Dedication and the Glory of God
We now move from preparation to dedication, from living the whole of our lives as an act of worship, to coming together in gatherings to worship.
Here’s how the Chronicler described the transition. Having finished the work on the temple:
Then Solomon summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Zion, the City of David. And all the Israelites came together…
– 2 Chronicles 5:2-3a
As the ark and all the sacred furnishings were brought up, Solomon led the way in …sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.
– 2 Chronicles 5:6
There are many lessons for us here:
First, notice the priority again in bringing up the ark (which we see in Week 2). The presence of God is to be our number one priority.
Secondly, notice that all the leaders and all the people ‘came together’. This is a time of holy regathering for ALL the people. It highlights the importance for us today, to regather as the people of God, especially after the disruption of the last couple of years.
Thirdly, notice the sense of sacrifice. While we don’t have to make animals sacrifices to the Lord, we do want to ensure that we’re giving our best to the Lord.
by Samson Abioye
As we consider this story, here are a few practical challenges for us to think about:
- Come regularly: make a decision that coming to worship the Lord in large and small gatherings is a priority of your life, and that whenever possible you’ll come (see Hebrews 10:24-25)
- Come punctually: notwithstanding some of the challenges of bringing a car full of children to church on a Sunday morning(!), begin your preparations before you leave the house, and leave the house early enough to not be rushed. Imagine us all being ready to begin our time of worship together, not treating the first few minutes of our gatherings as a warm-up to casually arrive late to but as a moment when we can begin meeting with the King of Kings.
- Come expectantly: maybe picture your journey to church and imagine different landmarks being steps towards encounter – remembering the journey through Moses’ tabernacle that we looked at in Week 1, so that when you arrive, your heart is already overflowing with gratitude to the Lord, and you can declare from Psalm 104, Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Holy (Song of the Ages)