Saturday, December 01, 2007

Our Dedication Service

It's been a few weeks since we had our dedication service for our newly expanded Worship Center at Hannaford, but I thought I'd share some of our service...

In 2 Chronicles starting in Chapter 5, we are told that King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel had gathered, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.

And after placing the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies, the priests withdrew from the Holy Place. Then, all the Levites who were musicians stood to the side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. And they were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets.

The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: "He is good; his love endures forever."

Songs: I Will Boast & Not To Us
All that we accomplish, all that we build, all that we do is to His glory. The glory is not to us, but boast only in our Lord God.

When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple like a cloud. The priests were overwhelmed and could not enter the temple of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled it.

When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the LORD above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD (taken from 2 Chronicles 7).

Song: Your Glory
Your glory is in this place


Inspired by King Solomon’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 6.

O LORD, our Father, There is no God like You in heaven or on earth – You who keep your covenant of love with us. You have kept your promise; with your mouth You have promised and with Your hand you have fulfilled it – as it is today.

And how can God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain You. How much less this building we have built! Because You sent Your Son Jesus, You hear from heaven; and when You hear, You forgive.

Now our God, may Your eyes be open and Your ears attentive to the prayers offered today. Arise, O LORD God, and come make Your presence known in our lives, and in this place. May we be clothed with salvation, and may we rejoice in your goodness. Let us not only dedicate this building today, but let us dedicate ourselves to Your purpose alone.

We pray this through the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Insights into King Solomon’s dedication of the temple from 2 Chronicles 4-7

1) We learn something about God's timing and faithfulness.
David had it in his heart to build the temple, but God said that he would not do it. But God did promise that David’s son Solomon would build the temple. We, too, wait on the timing of the Lord. It has taken a long time for all the phases of this building project to come to a close. But God is faithful. Likewise, we have written on the walls, the prayers and hopes that the Lord has laid on our hearts. Prayers for this church, our friends, and our families. God WILL be faithful in His time.

2) We learn something about a sacrifice of worship
Solomon and Israel sacrificed so many offerings at the dedication that it could not be counted. We, too, must make a sacrifice of worship. We sacrifice our time, efforts, and money in our worship - because worship is about giving, not receiving. We also sacrifice our personal preferences when we gather with other believers to worship - whether it be the songs we sing, the way we stand or sit, or whether we like the decorations or not. David said, I will not make a sacrifice to the Lord, that costs me nothing.

3) We learn something about God's presence
The priests withdrew from the Holy Place and could not perform their service, because the cloud - the glory of the LORD - the presence of the Lord - filled His temple. We, too, are blessed with the Lord's presence - His glory in this place. But too often we are like little children, fixated and delighted as we envision a place filled with presents (or gifts) from God. Too often, we are more excited about presents FROM God than we are about being in the presence OF God. Let us see this morning, how being in the presence of God - and touching His heart - is better than any gift we can receive from God.

Lord, let Your glory fall, as on that ancient day
Songs of enduring love, and then Your glory came

And as a sign to You, that we would love the same

Our hearts will sing that song, God let Your glory come

Voices in unison, giving You thanks and praise
Joined by the instruments, and then Your glory came

Your presence like a cloud, upon that ancient day

The priests were overwhelmed, because Your glory came

A sacrifice was made, and then Your fire came

They knelt upon the ground, and with one voice they praised

A sacrifice was made, and then Your fire came

They knelt upon the ground, and with one voice they praised

SONG: Lord Let Your Glory Fall
Bless this place and our lives as we live in Your presence. May we bow our hearts and praise You with ONE VOICE.