“Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps.” Nehemiah 12:27
We don’t often celebrate the Lord’s goodness the way we ought to.
Most of the time the services we conduct a churches are in fact focused on us. We pray and the majority of the content of our prays is the presentation of our various lists of things we’d like God to do for us. Sermons are preached and classes are taught and the major focus is placed on how to present the lessons, or on what new insight there is to share so that we can find some way to make the experience more enjoyable and inspirational for us. I could go on but I think you get my point; most of the time when we’re at church we’re not intent on worship rather we’re focused on ourselves.
Friends, in the middle of all our needs, and challenges, and wants, if we would stop and set all that aside for an hour or two, I think that on any given day we could find abundant reasons to celebrate the fact that God is worthy of, and has without qualification, earned all of the thanksgiving and praise we could ever give him.
Did you wake up this morning? Does the sun still shine? If it was still dark were their stars in the sky? If you couldn’t see stars was the rain watering the earth or was the snow showering down a blanket of white? Do you have family and loved ones that care about you? Do you have work you can do today? Do you have people that need you and rely upon you? Are there clothes in you closet? Is there food in your cupboard? Does the grass still grow? Do the birds still sing?
All these and more tell us everyday that there is a God in heaven that has created, that does sustain, and that is continuing to provide and if he does all this for us, every single day of the week, I think that by the end of any given week we ought to be able to return to him a few hours of undistracted, undiluted, un-self-filled praise.
I also think that a few times a year we ought to pull out all the stops and really make a joyful noise as we shout our praise to the heavens.
Nehemiah thought so too. When it came to the celebration that was a part of the dedication of the restored city wall they made every effort to make sure that this was a gift of worship that was up to the standard that God had set when he made them able to build that wall in fifty-two short days. Musicians and singers came from far and wide to Jerusalem. When all were assembled they divided them into two choirs so that they could double their praises to God.
God’s always worthy of our praise. Jesus died and has saved us from our sins; we ought to look for more opportunities and ways to double, and redouble, our praise to him.