The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 5:13)
Relate: The Temple was built, brick by brick, step by step, over the period of many years. Once it was completed, those things David had dedicated for its furnishing were brought in by his son. The articles that had been used in Tabernacle of Moses were brought in as well. As soon as the construction and furnishing was completed, the very next thing on the agenda was to sing out praises to God.
God inhabits the praises of His people and in a very real way, He did so on that day of completion. The cloud of glory was so thick that they couldn’t continue as they were. Up to that moment, the temple was just a building. It was a pretty big, impressive, expensive building. It had a lot of really nice stuff in it, but all of that was just window dressing. When the people began to praise, the temple became the Temple. It became a place to worship God and wherever that might happen, He is there.
React: Two Rivers Assembly used to meet in a movie theater. After service was over and the church equipment was stored and the people went home, it will be showing things like Captain America, Zootopia, and . Others will arrive and pay money to see Manny, Diego, and Sid. Of course there will be plenty of lemmings eager to waste their money on Warcraft. From the cute to the insipid to the downright evil, plenty will be seen, but the highlight of Regal’s week happened on Sunday morning when the King shows up. As ten AM gets close, the countdown will work its way to zero, the lights will dim and Ryan, or David, or Brenton will lead us in glorifying our God. Of course, I would have been singing many of the same songs in another language seven hours earlier.
What makes a church a Church isn’t the building. It isn’t the pews, or chairs. It’s not the glass stained windows or the pipe organ or the incense. Whether it is a converted warehouse, schoolhouse, a consulate, or million dollar monolith with a steeple reaching the clouds, what makes that location special is that it is a focal point, a gathering point for a community of believers to come together and corporately glorify their God. In that first Temple God came when the people praised and He is the same God today that He always has been.
God, You are so worthy of my praise. From now until the end of time I could sing of Your greatness, and power, and majesty. You are the only one who is worthy. Help me to never allow my gaze to drop from You to the window dressing. The style, the format, the building and its trappings. Let them be tools that would point my gaze upward. Help me to never forget that You are what the Temple, what the church building is really there for. Let my praises ever be raised upward.