Jump Start # 2574
1 Chronicles 16:7 “Then on that day David first assigned Asaph and his relatives to give thanks to the Lord.”
The background of our passage is that David has brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. This will be the permanent location for the ark through the days of David and Solomon. The ark would later be housed in the Temple in Jerusalem. It would be the Babylonians in the 500’s that came and stole the ark. But this is the starting point. This is how it got to Jerusalem. This would be the home for the ark for many, many decades.
And, through this section of Scripture, David is appointing different people to participate in the celebration and thanksgiving of the ark being in Zion. Levites were assigned to thank and praise the Lord. Burnt offerings and peace offerings were offered to the Lord. Then our verse. Asaph and his family were assigned to give thanks to the Lord. What a special honor that was. What a privilege that was. They were leading the nation, the people of God, in giving thanks to the Lord.
Now, this was something special. David realized this. David wanted to both honor God and etch some precious memories into the heart of Israel. This was a day to be remembered. I expect years later, when some dark days and storms of discouragement clouded their vision, they could think back to this glorious day and have their spirits lifted high as they thought about that wondrous time when God was honored.
It is time for us to start thinking this way. We’ve been separate for a long time. It may last a little longer. But sooner or later, we will be able to assemble once again. Have preachers and elders thought about that first Sunday when we are all back together? Just business as usual? Another typical Sunday? Or, will this be a special time to truly show our love for the Lord and together make some precious memories that celebrate this special occasion?
Already, be thinking about who ought to do what. David chose Asaph to give thanks to the Lord. Do you suppose Asaph happen to be walking by and David just grabbed him by the shirt and asked him to do this? Or, do you think David put some thought into this. This was to be a special service. He knew what Asaph could do. He knew that he could really thank the Lord in a way that would be Biblical and touch the hearts of Israel. So, here we are. Stick to what the schedule would be or think about who would be great to lead us in prayer. Who would be great to lead singing and just what songs ought we to sing? We haven’t been together in a long time, what message should the preacher preach?
I am already thinking about that first Sunday back. Our shepherds are with me on this. We are thinking about using the Asaph among us to thank the Lord. We are thinking about what message would be best to be preached. We are thinking about what a joyous, uplifting service we want that to be.
There may be some who are still a bit afraid that first Sunday back. Special preparations for handling and passing out the Lord’s Supper needs to be thought out. People need to be assured that all is fine but look what the Lord has gotten us through. It is a time for praise, celebration and togetherness. It will be a time for rejoicing. Seeing each other once again. Hearing that beautiful singing once again. Hearing prayers once again.
David understood how important having the ark in Jerusalem was. He understood that this was a day to remember. It was a time for a special service to honor God. Polish everything. Bring out the best. Raise your voices. Praise the God of Heaven and Earth.
In our lives there are special occasions. We remember anniversaries, birthdays and holidays. There has been special vacations with the kids that we will always remember. Even sad moments, such as funerals, have brought the family together. It’s the same for the history of a congregation. There was exciting moments when the church first started. There were highlights such as appointing elders or expansions. And, the first Sunday we are all back together may be just one of those days. What we are going through is for the history books. We will come out of this dark valley and bask in the sunshine of the Lord. Years from now, if the Lord allows that, we’ll be talking about 2020– that strange year when we worshipped at home, gospel meetings were cancelled, we watched videos but then the epidemic ended, and we were all together again.
It’s time to start planning now. Put some thought into it. Make it special. Make it joyous. Make it something that people will remember for a long time. Some will only remember the Covid-19 epidemic. They will talk about how hard it was finding toilet paper. They’ll complain about how tough it was staying home for so long. But, I expect, many of us will be talking about that wonderful, wonderful worship we had when this all ended. It will be something that will carry many of us through other storms, and dark days. It will be something that will remain dear to our hearts.
As a young bride plans and plans and anticipates her coming wedding, I feel we need to be doing the same for that special Sunday when we are back together.
I can hardly wait…