David the Worshipper
The whole idea of worship means different things to different people.
For one it is exuberance and movement; for another it is stillness and silence. For some it is a known ritual and liturgy while others see it as a spontaneous outpouring of praise.
The one common factor underlying every expression of worship is that God – a gracious, tender, loving Father – remains right at the centre.
It is the offering of oneself and the whole of life to a holy God.
This week we shall read of David, and others, as they worship God.
v 15 So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.
David’s first attempt to transport the Ark to Jerusalem had ended in disaster. It had started on a note of high celebration. With his 30,000 troops, we find ‘David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. ‘ (v 5). Then everything went on pause as Uzzah was struck down, and Obed-Edom was blessed through having the Ark in his house. So now David has a second attempt (v 12) and the celebrations are resumed.
I sense that the Jews were pretty good at celebrating – probably more so than we are as Christians. We go to weddings – well for an afternoon and on into the evening sometimes. The Jews could stretch it out for a week! We celebrate Easter – the Jews made the Passover feast last for a week. We are accustomed to thinking more of work and the economy than of meeting up to rejoice in the richness of life and of God’s goodness to us.
When did you last stop, putting life on hold in order to spend time celebrating with others? And what is it that we find ourselves celebrating? How much time would you be prepared to give over to remembering God’s goodness and singing his praises with others? A couple of hours on Sunday seems a long time to some of us – but that is only a tiny fraction of life isn’t it?
Maybe – just maybe – celebration has been squeezed out of 21st Century life by the other priorities we have constructed for ourselves. I must watch that programme about …. I must go to the concert in …. I really want to see the match between …. And so it goes on.
If our times together were punctuated by, or characterised by, ‘shouts of joy’ what kind of difference might that make to the community we live in!