2 Chronicles 6:1-11 (Part 1) – Be All-In When You Walk In

Posted: July 15, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 6:1-11 (Part 1 of 2)

Solomon Praises the Lord

Opening Illustration/Comments

As many of you know, although I grew up in the United Methodist Church, I was out of the church for a long time but when I returned to church just before my salvation and for the following 18 years after that, I went to churches that featured informal, non-structured, modern worship services. I grew up with responsive readings and specific things like the Gloria Patri and the Doxology and the Lord’s Prayer are all done in every service. Even recurring, non-weekly worship activities such as communion have prescribed forms and readings associated with them. Often, we sing these things and do responsive readings in these settings without grasping the gravity of what is being said. We have been trained to do these things so often that often they have lost all meaning.

Modern worship forms were and are a reaction against the traditions of traditional church. There are no responsive readings. There are no church colors. There are no acolytes. There are no robes. No bulletins with the order of service (but the tech team and the worship team and the preaching pastor have a timed out worship order that no one sees so that it seems there is a free flow to the service).

Modern worship though does have its own patterns or traditions though. This pattern has become so predictable that it has been humorously parodied in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-egY6t9BMGI

However, in modern worship though there has been such a reaction against the traditions of traditional church that many of the things that were common knowledge about the Christian faith (that the traditions of the traditional church taught us) that no longer are known by several generations of churchgoers. So, that’s the thing that jumped out this morning about the passage this morning. Do we really understand what we are doing when we worship on Sunday mornings, whether it be in traditional or modern worship?

It is that idea of robotically going through worship that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 6:1-11. Let’s read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

Chapter 6

1 Then Solomon prayed, “O Lord, you have said that you would live in a thick cloud of darkness. 2 Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever!”

3 Then the king turned around to the entire community of Israel standing before him and gave this blessing: 4 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept the promise he made to my father, David. For he told my father, 5 ‘From the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have never chosen a city among any of the tribes of Israel as the place where a Temple should be built to honor my name. Nor have I chosen a king to lead my people Israel. 6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem as the place for my name to be honored, and I have chosen David to be king over my people Israel.’”

7 Then Solomon said, “My father, David, wanted to build this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 8 But the Lord told him, ‘You wanted to build the Temple to honor my name. Your intention is good, 9 but you are not the one to do it. One of your own sons will build the Temple to honor me.’

10 “And now the Lord has fulfilled the promise he made, for I have become king in my father’s place, and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised. I have built this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11 There I have placed the Ark, which contains the covenant that the Lord made with the people of Israel.”.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that as the people received Solomon’s blessing, they stood, as Solomon prayed. Solomon knelt as he prayed. Both standing and kneeling are acts of reverence. Acts of reverence make us feel more worshipful and they are public displays that we are honoring God. When you stand or kneel in church or at prayer, we should make these actions more than just robotic, habitual responses that have been prescribed by tradition. Let them be self-aware indications of our love for God.

Life Application

The takeaway that I think we have for today is that, regardless of what style of worship service that we go to, help us to remember why we are there. In modern worship settings, we can get stuck in traditions too. We can sing songs that are hits on Christian radio so often that they themselves can become traditions and we get upset when the worship team tries to introduce a song we have never heard before. In traditional church, we can sing hymns that we have sung a hundred times and fail to grasp the meaning of the song. We can sing these hymns without even thinking about what is written in the lyrics. We can sing the Gloria Patri and the Doxology on cue from the pianist. We can recite the Apostle’s Creed and not thinking about the meanings of our beliefs. We can recite the Lord’s Prayers without thinking about what the Lord was teaching us about how to pray when we pray on our own. Either way, modern or traditional, help us, oh Lord, to grasp the gravity of worship. We are worshiping the Almighty God.

We are worshiping the maker of all things. We are worshiping the Creator of the Universe and everything in it. We are taking time to stop from the madness of daily life to worship Him. When we worship in centuries old traditions, let us understand the significance of each element of the worship service. These elements point us toward honoring God for the grace that He has shown us through Jesus Christ. These elements developed over centuries and have survived not out of rote repetition but out the symbolic significance that the element represents in keying us toward Jesus Christ. In modern worship settings, help us to see Christ in simplicity. Help us to see a return to first century worship where it was solely about praising God for what He has done through Jesus Christ through us.

Bottom line, regardless of our worship style, let’s not just go through the motions on Sunday morning. Let us pray up before we walk into the sanctuary or worship center. Let us take time to clear the clutter of our week out of our mind before we enter the place of worship. Let us remember our day of salvation before we enter the halls or worship. Let us remember what we have been saved from – the pits of hell that we deserve were it not for the grace of God expresses through Christ’s redeeming act on the cross and His resurrection. Let us remember that we need to put all that other stuff of life out of our minds when we walk into the place of worship. Let us do the things that we repeat each week in either style of worship by thinking of what these things mean and signify. Let us kneel and understand what that means. Let us stand and understand what that means. Let us bow our heads and understand what that means. Let us recite things that are recited and hear and understand the words we recite. Let us sing and think about the words we are singing. Let us read Scripture and think about what it will mean in the sermon that follows its reading. Let us focus on every movement of the sermon by the pastor and grasp the concepts of Christian faith that the pastor is trying to get us to see and understand. Let’s rededicate ourselves to NOT just being at church in body but not in spirit. Let’s be there to worship God. Let’s be there to do that and not because (1) its what we are supposed to do on Sunday as a tradition in our family for generations and generations, or (2) it’s the cool place to be at the new stylish church. Let us be there, either place, to worship the one and only true God with all the focus, all the mental acuity, all the heart felt emotion, and all the concentration that we have available to us. Let’s be all-in when we walk in.

Amen and Amen.

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