2 Chronicles 5:13-14 Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 And when the trumpeters and singers were joined in unison, making one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and other instruments for song and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever, then the house of the Lord was filled with a cloud,14 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.
Acts 2:1-2 Amplified Bible (AMP)
2 1 And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, 2 When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting.
No, not the Honda Accord! These two scriptures, one from the old testament and the other from the new testament, can provide some insight to us regarding the purpose of praise and worship, being in one accord, and, perhaps more importantly, WHO should show up.
Two Separate Times; Similar Moments in Church History
In 2nd Chronicles we find King Solomon, the priests, the Levites, and of all of Israel coming together. The newly constructed “house of God” was now completed. Everyone had to be excited. In Acts we find a different group of people. Jesus had promised that power would be given, inaugurating a paradigm shift that would forever reestablish “God’s house” in the hearts of men that would serve as witnesses of Jesus. These were exciting times, and people were coming together as a dramatic shift in worshiping God was about to commence.
One of the key words in both of these passages is “one.” My cousin, an awesome bassists and man of God (R.I.P), was trying to explain this word to me. At the time, I couldn’t quite grasp what I thought was simply a cliche greeting among the musicians in the band with him. “One” is a number; “ONE!” is said as the first count of every song and measure; more importantly, “one” is a word that describes unity. In both of these moments in history, people came together with one purpose, one mindset. In other words, they were “in one accord.” There is NO substitute for corporate worship, and when Christians get together unified in worshiping God something special happens.
God Shows Up
He didn’t crash the party; it was His party! You can say these were His house warming parties. In the New Testament, it was the 50th day of Passover, an annual event on the Jewish calendar; in the Old Testament, the barbecue was humming and they threw down like was 1999… BC. At both times, apparently God felt right at home. However, when God shows up, He shows His …glory (what were you thinking?). All jokes aside, The Holy Spirit filled the house of God in the Old Testament and filled the people (the new houses of God) in the New Testament. We see here that, when we come together to worship God, God unites with us and the results are glorious!
Stop Throwing the Party Without Welcoming the Guest of Honor
1 People + 1 Purpose + 1 God = 1 POWERFUL Party. When God shows up, the Holy Spirit ministers and two things happen. His presence is so awesome that we can only worship in awe of His glory, and He empowers us to minister in ways that we could never do on our own. How often do we sing and play music in church services and end up being received as if we are entertainment at a dull party? Take another look at your church program this Sunday! Most church liturgies (i.e. orders of service) begin with worshiping God then shifts toward ministering to the needs of we, His people. I believe this is by design. However, the difference is being in one accord to worship God in spirit and in truth. When the leadership and music ministry gets in one accord to worship God, He will empower us to effectively minister to others.