Tonight's Maundy Thursday worship was simple and worshipful. It was good for me and I hope good for those who participated in the sacrament of Holy Communion and in the hand washing service. Tomorrow evenings' Good Friday service will include special music and readings. I hope you will be able to participate in this service that asks us to consider how our sin would have nailed Jesus to the cross just as the sins of 1st century Palestine and Rome did.
Our reading today from the Chronicles is obviously about the temple worship that is yet to be. David is preparing for the Temple that he will not see.....the one that God would not allow him to build, but has promised that Solomon will build. You will remember from yesterday that much of the spoils of war and homage that David collected as a man of war has now been set aside for the temple construction. Today's reading tells of how David organized the Levites for worship and the care of the future temple. He lowered the age of service for Levites from 30 to 20 in anticipation of the increased numbers that would be needed in the larger temple of the future. He organized courses of service that would allow all of the Levites opportunity to serve in every capacity including preparing of the offerings, serving as gatekeepers, musicians, and more. Again we see David's love of music in worship by the number of Levites that are set aside expressly for the purpose of worshipful song and instrumental music. This perhaps shouldn't be a surprise to us since David was skilled as a muscian, playing the harp. (remember how his music soothed the anger in Saul's heart.)
One of the practices that David installed that remained to the days of Jesus was the practice of casting lots to determine who would minister to God in the holy place. Remember that the lot had determined that Zacariah would be there when the angel announced to him that his wife would give birth to a son, John the Baptist. This practice was intended to allow God to determine who would serve in the holy of holies.
We should be as careful in our worship as David was in planning for the Temple to be. His care in organizing was intended to insure that someone was always attending to the Temple....some in prayer...some in song.....some in other forms of worship. Just as he understood God was always present (omnipresent) so too should the worship of the people be lifted in grateful praise to the God who blesses us abundantly.