The Jewish people had just participated in a worship service beyond imagination. There were sacrifices for days, songs, trumpets, praises.
“There was great rejoicing in Jerusalem, for nothing like this was known since the days of Solomon son of David, king of Israel.” (29:26)
But it’s what happened after the benediction that spoke to me today.
“When all this was completed, all Israel who had attended went out to the cities of Judah and broke up the sacred pillars, chopped down the Asherah poles, and tore down the high places and altars throughout Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Ephraim and Manasseh, to the last one. “ (31:1a)
We have put so much emphasis on the experience of worship we neglect why we worship. If attending church on Sunday doesn’t inspire and equip and encourage us to get out there and confront sin, if we don’t leave the sanctuary like people shot out of a canon eager to go and make disciples, to be salt and light, fishers of men, why do we bother getting out of bed on Sunday morning?
I believe Scripture tells us the evidence of true worship is what happens next.
And pastors: If your goal isn’t to inspire your congregation to use their worship of God as a catalyst to share the Gospel, why do you bother getting out of bed on Sunday?
Worship isn’t the all to end all. It’s just the beginning.