When Solomon finished praying at the dedication of the temple, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,
“The LORD is good; God’s love endures forever.”
– II Chronicles 7:1-3
The last Sunday of October we celebrate Reformation Sunday. It is an occasion to remember God’s faithfulness throughout generations. This year, at Kennewick First Presbyterian Church, we are celebrating 120 years of ministry on Reformation Sunday! For 120 years, Presbyterians have been meeting in this community to worship and serve in the name of Jesus Christ. The buildings have changed over time. We no longer meet in downtown Kennewick in what is now the Odd Fellows Hall. We have had no less than 3 different sanctuaries in our current location! The place and location of God’s house is not what we celebrate. The LORD is good; God’s love endures forever! We worship, honor and celebrate the Lord.
As we read through the stories of the prophet Samuel and Israel’s kings: Saul, David and Solomon, we see God’s faithfulness and people’s proclivity to forget. The people remain faithful to God for a time, but they fall away time and again. God never forgets the people. God never forsakes the people, even when they receive punishment for their disobedience. God receives them back into a relationship with love and forgiveness.
At the dedication of the temple, God’s presence filled the space so much that the priests could not enter, and the people fell, faces to the ground. The majesty and glory of the Lord was overwhelming. May we experience God’s presence and power in overwhelming ways this week in worship. May we be transformed by the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to continue serving God in Kennewick for the next 120 years!
Eternal God, infinite in power, wisdom and goodness: Let the desire of our souls be to you; let us draw near you with our hearts, and not only with our lips; and worship you in spirit and truth. Let your word be spoken and heard by us as the word of God. Give us attentive, hearing ears, and open, believing, understanding hearts. Put your laws into our hearts, and write them in our minds, and let us all be taught by you. Let us magnify you with thanksgiving. Let us rejoice in your salvation, and glory in your holy name. Open our lips, O Lord, and let our mouths show forth your praise. And let the words of our mouths, and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord and only Saviour. Amen.