|David Bringing of the Ark of the Covenant |
by David Brassey Hole
II Samuel 6: 1-19
Good morning, boys and girls! I'm glad you came to church this morning. When we gather together in this holy place on this special day each week, we see our friends, and we learn new things about Jesus, and sometimes we eat cookies and drink lemonade before we go home, right? But the number one reason we all come together at church each Sunday morning is to worship God.
We are God's people, and we know that every good thing in our lives and in the world are gifts from God. We know that God made us and we belong to God. We know that God knows everything and God is all-powerful. And above all, we know that God loves us and wants the best for us. God is truly awesome. And so we come together to honor God each week--to show the Lord our deepest, heart-felt love, respect and thanks.
Different people worship God in different ways. In some communities, people cover their heads as a sign of respect. Some churches burn incense. We light candles, don't we. Most congregations sing songs of praise, say prayers, read from the Bible and hear a sermon. Sometimes a choir or a soloist sings a special song, called an anthem to honor God. Sometimes various musical instruments are used in worship--such as an organ, guitars, drums, a harp or trumpet or flute. Some congregations use none of these things in their worship. They sit quietly in prayer and meditation. Occasionally a member of the congregation will feel moved by the Spirit to speak and share their thoughts, but otherwise the worship service is quiet.
A sanctuary is the special, or sacred, space in which the congregation gathers to worship. Some sanctuaries are very old, and some are new. Some sanctuaries are super plain and some are ultra-fancy. Some have pictures in the windows made of stained glass. Some have banners hanging on the walls, and some are decorated with statues. Sanctuaries are decorated in the way the people of that church believe will make God happy and help the people to worship best.
Some churches have big screens, like movie screens, in the sanctuary. Pictures and videos displayed on the screens are used as a form of worship. Sometimes the people of God will put on a play or a skit, or even dance as a way to worship God.
The Bible tells us about a time when King David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant home into the City of David, or Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant was a special box that held the stone tablets which had the Ten Commandments written on them. The Ark of the Covenant was so important to King David and his people, it was like they were bringing God home to live.
Now, David was king of Israel, but even King David knew that God was more important and powerful than he was. David was filled with love and respect for God. The ark was heavy and carried by several men. Thousands of people came out to welcome God and the ark home. David led the parade and worshipped God as he went, dancing his heart out the whole way. The Bible tells us that "David danced before the Lord with all his might."
There are many ways to worship God. Not all of them have to happen in a church building or sanctuary, and not only on Sunday. Every time you show love and respect to God, you honor the Lord with your worship. When you pray at home, when you sing a song in the car or on the playground that you've learned at church school, when you offer kindness to another person--all of these are acts of worship and honor God.
Let's worship God now with prayer.
Awesome God, We thank-you for your many gifts to us. Help us to live our lives in a way that shows you how grateful we are. Amen.