Then Hezekiah said, “You have now consecrated yourselves to the Lord . Come near; bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the Lord .” And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. The number of the burnt offerings that the assembly brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord . And the consecrated offerings were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. But the priests were too few and could not flay all the burnt offerings, so until other priests had consecrated themselves, their brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was finished—for the Levites were more upright in heart than the priests in consecrating themselves. Besides the great number of burnt offerings, there was the fat of the peace offerings, and there were the drink offerings for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of the Lord was restored. And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because God had provided for the people, for the thing came about suddenly.
2 Chronicles 29:31 – 36
Our God knows I’m a house church girl in my soul. I’m not a fan of gigantic congregations, which works out great, because I’m home to a church with a gigantic congregation. Love that sense of humor, God.
But I’m writing because as I read this verse today, it just struck me what a huge, long ordeal worship used to be. And, while it sometimes still is, I don’t think it’s a big enough deal enough of the time anymore.
In all the churches I’ve visited, worship is an obvious staple. Everyone sings for a good twenty minutes, the offering is taken, and then, in some places, worship continues for a song or two. Then, at the call of the service timer, we take our seats, hold aloft our pens, and listen to either a man or woman speak for a good forty minutes. In my experience, this time is often spent either searching the pastor’s words for a word from God to help my life, or the closing sentence so I can go to lunch. Good grief, Sarah.
I’m feeling convicted today, y’all. Not only do I too often not go into service praying what can I take away to encourage others (so I stay crazy self-focused) but I bypass the importance of those moments of worship. And it seems like I see it everywhere.
Worship is sacrificial – the entire point of it is Someone who isn’t me. It’s about Someone so much greater than me. In so many cases, I allow taste and time constraints to shape my worship rather than the Holy Spirit. I allow human things to color my vision of a God worthy of praise.
I think of this; tomorrow, rather than wish my boyfriend, Jordan, a happy birthday, I wake him up with a morning message of complaining, whining, & telling him everything he’s doing wrong. It would be berating and antagonizing him rather than sending a message full of love, devotion, and gratitude for who he is to me. Which is what I should be doing everyday, so the LEAST I can do is tell him on his designated, special day of the year.
And it’s like that with God. The LEAST I should be doing is worshipping Him on the day He called holy. Worshipping Him during the time I myself say I put aside; yet I struggle to do it even then. That’s an entire day He declared for the beautiful gift of rest – I spend it running on fumes.
And then He forgives. Oh goodness, He forgives me for that. He forgives you. He still Loves us, passionately and entirely, even when we don’t Love Him as deeply in return. Even when we sing His name and don’t mean it. Even when we kneel but think more of our aching knees than the sacrifice He gave for our ability to sit in a sanctuary. The sacrifice He gave for us to be breathing every Sunday. He does it for us all – regardless of the offence. Small or monumental. Petty or of the highest perceived sin.
I’m thanking God for daily chances today. Endless chances to choose to love Him tirelessly. Gracious God – He knows I need them.