How do we honor and worship God in our lives today.
I was listening to a recorded Christian Service on Radio Ulster on Sunday 19 th June 2016. It was held in St George’s Church in Belfast to celebrate 200 years since it’s opening.
I enjoy singing praise songs to worship God on my own or sing along to a CD. I attend small groups of people who gather to worship God. In a small group, people can be shy to sing or to lift up their voices. The pressure often is on the guitarist and singer to carry the worship meeting. But the service I listened to on the radio was different from the small groups I am used to.
From St George’s the organ sounded and lifted up the choir’s voices. When I listened to the organ blasting out the music it allowed for people to sing along whether they sung in tune or not, or whether they sang high or low. I noticed that the speaker spoke clearly and loudly for all to hear. It seemed as if the service was being help at another time in the past. I wondered were the pews full of people on last Sunday. We don’t know. Perhaps when this church was dedicated all those years ago people gathered with enthusiasm to praise and thank The Lord and make loud noises with the organ and choir.
I was reminded of David’s psalm in 1 Chronicles 15 where it is describes how David had prepared himself and the people to bring the Ark of The Lord back to Jerusalem. There were musicians and singers making music to celebrate the return of the Ark of the Covenant into the middle of God’s people.
“David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it.
David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their fellow Levites as musicians to make a joyful sound with musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.
Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it.
So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps.”
1 Chronicles 15:3, 16, 22, 28 NIV
He appointed singers and music players to make loud noises to celebrate. David danced like a mad man before the presence of The Lord and the people. His wife rebuked him later for acting so foolishly. She was left barren because of her complaint. He was not ashamed to praise his God who delivered him in many situations in his life.
Today we dance to a different song than David of old. You may be watching football matches. The different supporters shout out their anthems for their teams. They are not afraid to lift up their voices. Their spirits are lifted and everyone waits in anticipation to see if their team wins. The pop stars, U2, Beyoncé, Coldplay, Bruce Springstein or the Rolling Stones fill stadiums with people to hear their concerts. The footballers and stars are millionaires because of the people’s worship of them. People join along in the song and dance with their faviourite stars and pay a lot of money to attend. Today do we show the same enthusiasm for our God as we do the pop stars or our football teams? Do we give as much money to a minister of God as one gives at the ticket box for these shows.
Come let us return to The Lord. Like David let us prepare our hearts and prepare a place for God to return into our midst and let us lift up our voices and music to praise and thank him. Let us honor and worship God alone.