Friday, March 23, 2012

organized worship

The number of them along with their brothers, who were trained in singing to the LORD, all who were skillful, was 288. And they cast lots for their duties, small and great, teacher and pupil alike.
1 Chronicles 25:7-8

King David extended the organization of the worship of Yahweh to include the singers and musicians who were on site at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. It was quite a task. There were 288 of these skilled musicians, songwriters, and singers. And all of them were organized around the same type of schedule that regulated the duties of the Levites. With that many artists to manage, the worship of the Lord must have been quite a production!

The bottom line was that these musicians were divided into 24 teams. Then they were assigned musical duties in worship around the same 48 month lunar calendar that the Levites followed. So there was always a worship team planned and organized around every worship activity in the life of the nation of Israel.

Both experienced master musicians and their most gifted proteges served together in this ministry. And the result was that the ministry of musical worship always had a good learning, growing, artistic edge. It was always worshiping toward the future. David's skill as a musician is shown in this stroke of developmental genius. He fostered new talent. He knew that good art is always growing into the next generation. That's why pupil and teacher alike were part of the rotation.

I love music. And I love playing music and singing. I deeply feel the loss in my busy life right now. Circumstances are such that I am unable these days to offer any musical worship service due to the overcrowding of other important expectations and responsibilities that have been pressed upon me. I could play and learn new guitar abilities for hours (when I have those hours... which is never). I dearly wish sometimes that I had the hours to give it again because I find it often brings me into sweet communion with God, personally. Given that insight, I feel something when I read this story in 1 Chronicles. I get a feel for how elated these 288 musicians must have felt to be released and supported and organized to do nothing but worship God with their hearts, hands, instruments, and voices. And there will be a time when I will get to do nothing but that myself. I'll bide my time until then, I suppose.

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