Lenny LeBlanc has a wonderful song about it. The classic worship song by delirious?, “I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever” includes the line, “…for I will always sing of when your love can down…” Our worship is wonderfully and frequently focused on thanking God for making His love real and tangible and immensely valuable to us all when Jesus came to earth as a human to live the only perfect life ever so as to be the perfect sacrifice for each and every one of our each and every sin. That’s a gift big enough to consume every moment of our worship, as it really kinda should. Singing and worshiping God’s grace and goodness is one of our best investments in worship. (And I have a blog to write soon on how costly and strenuous our worship should be…)
But this weekend in our worship, we’re looking at a very different instance of God’s love coming down. our story comes from 2 Chronicles 5, and includes a theophany–God showing up in a truly visible way. It’s a recounting of the story of installing the Ark of the Covenant into the newly completed Temple, originally told in 1 Kings 8. The retelling highlights that once the Ark was brought into the inner chamber of the Temple, it was only after the musicians, the singers and trumpeters, really started in with their worship music that God seemed to show up. The story says that once they began to praise, the centermost chamber of the Temple (the Holy of Holies) was filled with the presence of God in the form of a cloud, so much so that the priests couldn’t even do their work.
If you think about it, this is a pretty signficant instance of God’s love coming down. It’s central to our understanding of worship that God’s Spirit is present in our worship. God really showed us in the Temple that when we turn to Him as His people in praise and worship, He’s there with us in a big way.
Now, I can keep in mind when I sing, “…for I will always sing of when your love came down…” that God came down in the person of Jesus, our Savior and in the presence of His Spirit with us our times of worship and praise. Really nice to tie those lyrics together to both Old and New Testament concepts of God–who is the same from the beginning to the end and who is the Alpha and Omega.
This week, a few of us from the church are heading to Lancaster, PA (about an hour away) to attend the National Worship Leaders Conference East at the LCBC Church. It’s organized by Worship Leader Magazine and offers a great mix of worship, teaching, workshops, and networking with others who love worship, including many of the artists who wrote the songs we sing each week. One of them, the same Lenny LeBlanc I mentioned above, will actually be coming home with us to lead worship next weekend and offer a FREE worship concert on Saturday night–hopefully outside in our 1000 seat amphitheater, weather permitting. God is sooo good! I’ll blog a bit from the conference to share insights I gather there…