I hope you are looking forward to Sunday and to the dedication of our newly renovated facilities.
As I mentioned in a letter in August, I have found in other churches that it takes about a year for a newly renovated church to become fully functional, like a home: lots of bits and pieces to adjust and fix . . . BUT Sunday is coming!! With remarkable work led by our Facilities Director Diane Stewart and many teams of planners and implementers at NPC (including all of you who have given so generously) – Sunday will be like getting the keys to a new house, and, with great excitement, opening the front door and moving in . . . STAY SAFE AND COMFORTABLE, BUT COME IF YOU POSSIBLY CAN!
In the Bible, there is no doubt that the two biggest “dedication ceremonies” have to do with Kings David and Solomon.
With King David, it was the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant, containing the Ten Commandments, into a tent in the city of Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 6:12-15, 17-19 reads
David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing; 13 and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
17 They brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, 19 and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women . .
With King Solomon, the dedication was in the same city, but this time it was for construction — the building of the temple (“the house for the Lord”) which would replace the tent as the resting place for the Ark. 1 Kings 8:4-6, 22-23, 27-29
4 So they brought up the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up. 5 King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered. 6 Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the most holy place, underneath the wings of the cherubim.
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. 23 He prayed,
“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart,
27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! 28 Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today; 29 that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place.
No, I cannot guarantee that this David (your pastor) will “dance before God with all his might” at this dedication – but I have a sneaking suspicion
- that BAGPIPES will be part of the festival on Sunday
- and that a KILT might appear after 11:00 am worship
- and that there will be some TRUMPETS being blown,
- and COOKIES ready to be served and eaten.
STAY SAFE AND COMFORTABLE, BUT COME IF YOU POSSIBLY CAN!
Just as important, if not more so, there will be PRAYERS – including yours, wherever you are.
Indeed, I trust that our prayers on Sunday will be like the sheep and oxen that were sacrificed on those ancient occasions: “sacrifices of praise,” too numerous to count! Prayers in which we cry out to God, in days of declining faith across the western world, that
- God would hear our prayers at National week by week as we gather for worship,
- God’s name would be present and honored at National for decades to come,
- God would bless our lives and the lives of future generations, so that we would be empowered by God’s Spirit to be Christ’s joyful and effective ambassadors – salt and light in a world that desperately needs God’s Good News.
THIS SUNDAY AS WE CELEBRATE TOGETHER: STAY SAFE AND COMFORTABLE, BUT COME IF YOU POSSIBLY CAN!
So grateful to be your pastor,