Those who were musicians, heads of Levite families, stayed in the rooms of the temple and were exempt from other duties because they were responsible for the work day and night.
1 Chronicles 9:33 (NIV)
For many of us, worship is something that happens one hour on Sunday each week. If you or your local gathering of believers is really whacky, you might add another hour or two by way of a Sunday night, Saturday night, or mid-week worship.
It struck me this morning reading about the host of singers and musicians who literally lived in the temple because they were needed day and night for the continuous worship that took place. The idea of “continuous worship” is foreign to most of us because our brains, experience, and tradition has been to compartmentalize worship into a one or two hour time slot in our week. The threat of this, of course, is that we think of God and/or our faith as something we put into a compartment of time. We take it out once or twice a week, then put it back and forget about it until the calendar and clock tell us it’s time to pull it back out again.
I am reminded this morning of the radical concept that Jesus introduced and which Jesus followers celebrated around the globe just over a week ago on the Sunday we call Pentecost. God’s Holy Spirit was poured out into the hearts of believers. The temple stopped being bricks and mortar and became flesh and blood in the form of any and all who believe. Church was never supposed to be a building we go to once or twice a week. Church was to be the living, breathing, touching, loving, feeling, serving people who believe and follow Jesus. Worship can happen anywhere, anytime, day or night because God isn’t at the church building, God is in me. My body is the temple and I take it with me wherever I go.
Today, I’m reminded once again that my body is a temple of God open for worship 24/7/365.