Readings; 2 Chronicles 30:1-27, 31: 1-21
Come to the Party!
As I read today’s passages I cannot help but think about our current situation, the pandemic in the last 12 months. We have lost so many to this terrible virus, over 500,000 in the US alone to this date. The people of Israel that belonged to either kingdom from the north or from the south had endured horrible atrocities as their friends and families were captured and taken elsewhere. But the time had come for unification. Those separated whether it was from territories of land or political parties were being called to unify and worship the Lord, the Lord of their ancestors. The unification theme was the Passover celebration. Our unification is also possible as we transition to a virus-free world through vaccination. I can picture it in my mind, people coming together singing to the Lord, playing their loud instruments. ( See verses 30:23) The celebration continuing for seven days with so much joy in their hearts from the burdens they had withstood this past year, that we ask to celebrate joyfully for just one more week. According to verse 26, “There was great joy in the city, for Jerusalem had not seen a celebration like this one since the days of Solomon, King David’s son. ” Wouldn’t that be amazing? If we could come together, and as King Hezekiah reminded them in verse 8, “Do not be stubborn”. Those of us that have survived this tribulation could return and celebrate together as one, out in the streets, unmasked even. Wouldn’t that be grand?
The beautiful part of this story begins in verses 30:17. The people from the north come forth as broken people. They are invited to the party after complete defiance and denial of the Lord. They are the remnant that remains from the north. Many still refused and mocked the invitation, but some admitted their transgressions and took part in the renewal. What an analogy to the story of Christ. We all come to Christ as broken vessels. We don’t qualify to come to the celebration. We have not been purified and are unclean. But just as Hezekiah prayed to the Lord to intercede for these unclean people, so does Christ do the same for us today. In verse 17 it states, “King Hezekiah prayed for them, and they were allowed to eat the Passover meal anyway, even though this was contrary to the requirements of the Law. May the Lord, who is good, pardon those who decide to follow the Lord, even those that are not properly cleansed for the ceremony. And the Lord listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people. “
Christ will do the same for you today. We can be adopted into this southern kingdom. Remember Jesus was a southern man, from the southern kingdom of Judea. Most likely you were not born a Jew, an Israelite, a Judean. But you are still invited to the celebration. Leave behind your stubbornness. Do not worry about what you are to wear. Jesus has already said a prayer for your intercession, for your healing, your redemption.
This year Passover begins on Saturday, March 27th, 2021 the year of our Lord. I invite you to begin your preparations for the party. We have much to celebrate this year. I will help prepare you for your cleansing, just as the priests did to those in our story. The first thing to do is to continue to immerse yourself in the Word. We are 1/4 of the way in. Here’s a list for preparation.
2. Each day we will sing to the Lord, and play loud instruments. (verse 21)
3. Serve the Lord no matter what your skill. ( verse 22)
4. Make a list of peace offerings in your life, a gift of gratitude to the Lord for his blessings. (verse 22)
5. Be joyful!!
Sound like fun? Begin making preparations in your own homes. In verse 9, it states that the blessings carry forward to our relatives and children. The Lord your God is gracious and merciful. Hezekiah followed the Lord in the face of much adversity. “He sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful. ” (verse 31: 21)
For the next couple of days, we will spend some time in proverbs and Psalms. The advisers of Kings Hezekiah of Judah collected the anonymous psalms and proverbs for him. See Proverbs 25:1. As we start our celebration today to prepare ourselves for the weeks to come, join me for one of my favorites, ” lift your hands to the Lord and praise him” kind of song. Get out those instruments, even if they are chopsticks to bang on the coffee table.