11 Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord, and the king's house: and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the Lord, and in his own house, he prosperously effected.12 And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:11-14
In the text from 2 Chronicles, we find God’s response to King Solomon and his prayer for the nation of Israel as they dedicate the first Temple. Until this dedication, the people of Israel worshipped God in a Tabernacle – a tent that had traveled with them as they left captivity in Egypt, wandered through the desert for 40 years, fought and conquered the Promised Land. Solomon’s father, King David had desired to build the Temple, but God refused that request and the task and opportunity fell to Solomon.
The dedication and celebration of the new Temple must have been spectacular! In 2 Chronicles 5 we are told that as the Arc of the Covenant and all of the vessels and tools for worship were brought up into the new Temple, a cloud engulfed the Temple, and no one could stand in the glory of the Lord! In this presence, Solomon calls upon God and asks that God will be gracious and patient with the people of faith. Read again God’s powerful response and promise – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
It is my privilege to call our church family at the Baldwinsville First United Methodist Church into a 70-day season of prayer and repentance as we launch into this fall season. This 70-day period of prayer and repentance will begin Sunday September 12th, and it will run through Sunday November 21st. On November 21st we will receive new members, through Confirmation and Profession of Faith, and we will celebrate our 200-year anniversary as a congregation! Will you join us as we come together during this season of prayer?
Come and join us for worship this Sunday morning at 9:00 A.M. for our Heritage worship service featuring our choir and familiar hymns. We have moved our Contemporary Worship to 6:00 P.M. Friday night. It will be a causal dinner service – I will bring a pizza and some drinks – come and give this a try! Both services will be available online through Facebook and YouTube. We’ll save you a seat!
Serving Christ with You, Pastor Bill Mudge