The holidays are officially upon us! Controversially, I believe that Christmas season (and decorating) begins November 1st- it just brings so much joy! While there is no record of the biblical authors celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas, they nonetheless had holidays.
One such special occasion is recorded in 1 Chronicles 15-16. In this passage, David is celebrating the ark of the covenant moving back to the tabernacle in Jerusalem. This would have been a national holiday, and as king David had tremendous hosting responsibilities. It was on him to make the occasion perfect and memorable for the people. I can imagine that is a great amount of pressure- I tend to stress over simple family gatherings!
But in 1 Chronicles 16:23-29 we get a glimpse into David’s heart while planning and hosting this big event:
23 Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. 24 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. 25 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!He is to be feared above all gods. 26 The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! 27 Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling. 28 O nations of the world, recognize the Lord, recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. 29 Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
What an attitude of worship that David had. Above all, his heart was focused on giving the Lord the praise due His name.
As we make plans for the holidays, I want to encourage each of us- myself very much included- to make worship central to our planning. From the moment of creation, our God designed us as beings made to worship. Our hearts have a need to worship something- and I don’t mean just singing. Worship is an expression of reverence or adoration, and whatever our heart longs for is what we worship.
From the time of the first sin our hearts have been prone to worship so many different things. We worship at the altar of success, good relationships, altruism, service, family, etc.
In seasons of celebration such as the upcoming holidays, we can find ourselves so consumed with being the perfect host, buying the perfect gifts, and making the holidays special for our kids that we turn our worship to anything but the Lord who deserves it.
We can recenter our hearts by spending intentional time in God’s Word, offering songs of praise to him, and by participating in corporate worship with our hearts, minds, and bodies.
Our God not only designed us to be worshippers but meets us in our broken state and changes our hearts to true worship through the Holy Spirit. He asks us to daily center our hearts towards Him in prayer. I pray that David’s song can become the song of our hearts in this season and we can “each day proclaim the good news that he saves!"