Saturday, 13 March 2010


I stand I stand in awe of You
I stand I stand in awe of You
Holy God unto You all praise is due
I stand in awe of You.

What does one say about a God one has never seen? How does one describe in worship a glory beyond the context of man’s highest experience? Worship is a description of the qualities of the Godhead…, but then, how does one express the qualities of a God beyond and without any terms of reference of man?
At best worship is silence, stunned silence, awe-inspiring silence. Marvel. Speechlessness before the Presence, rendered bereft of all eloquence or even the smallest trace of expressiveness.
God the maker of all things dwells outside all spheres of time and laws of nature without and outside which all creation cease to exist… What does it mean to exist without having yesterday, today and tomorrow as terms of reference? How does it feel? How do we describe it? It isn’t amorphousness but a state best described as… indescribable! And this only using time to try to understand who God is, every other points and aspects of contemplation we may choose to turn to we always find Him much infinitely loftier than our best and most reverential thoughts. Is it His mercy you’ll think about? It should be enough revealing to understand that His mercies cause the living to live and give the dead-in-Christ a certain hope. Without it none, I mean not one person out of the many trillions that have passed and will yet pass the face of the earth, would ever qualify to either be or remain a Christian. Not one! Or yet will you consider the marvel call creation?
Set thyself on a mount most tall
Or yet on the Ocean and call
To know the beasts and waters
And rocks and sky and Sun
The roll call shall turn thy heart
To know a glory beyond thee.

How then do we worship Him Whom our words do not know? For every little splinter of divine knowledge we glean with imperfect fingers from an imperfect vine that nature is cannot even in any ambitious extrapolation be considered sufficient in describing Him. This little splinter overwhelms, how much more the whole tree. His holiness is so loftily high it’s more than an absence of sin: for ever before transgression came God was holy. His holiness is living, and breathing. It predates the world and it becomes rather presumptuous to start to see the Lord only in the context of sinlessness whenever His holiness is mentioned. So also His faithfulness, glory, majesty, power,… and love. They all cannot be conceived of with regards to what men understand them to be, and neither should they be understood against their contrasts that we very well know (e.g., unfaithfulness, and hatred). God, and so all His attributes-anything we could worship Him by, predates men and their languages and their understanding and their recognition of attributes by which they describe God. The holy angels worship God night and day without ceasing not because they are paid to do it, not because they are creations by nature lacking in the will not to. No. But they are fully rational and conscious and will-having beings that at every gaze they have of the Ancient of Days they are struck with wonder and awe and marvel. These themselves are holy by what men commonly know holiness to be. Otherwise they wouldn’t stand a second in His presence of fiery holiness. The glory they see each time they behold Him surpasses everything that ever was seen in all the ageless time they had lived in His presence. Glory so high they are struck with such lack of words they could only utter the near speechless word: Holy! Holy! Holy! At each instant they behold His glory all the archive and memory of who He used to be vanished.
“Holy!” will suffice for all days for the worship of our Eternal God. Anything more wordy and creative and eloquent will easily mean we have not come face to face with His glory and majesty. While I do not disdain or disapprove of worshipping God with worthy words crafted by reverent hearts-for then I would have to also concede that the Psalms are worthless- I only try to observe that at the highest of worship when suddenly confronted by the Lord’s glory all eloquence shrinks into awe-inspired speechlessness.
When we come to worship with abundance of words not of sweet reflex, then most likely than not we haven’t encountered the Shekinah, the glory of fear and awe and dread and worship, the glory that left Ezekiel and John the Beloved as dead before Him. The glory that Peter saw at Transfiguration and could do no more than say words he never intended to utter. The glory Isaiah saw and couldn’t but consider himself in trouble: he beheld God’s holiness and with his experience as a prophet he couldn’t see any man in the history of the world as possessing a tittle holiness,
“Woe is me! For I am lost: for I am a man of unclean lips,
and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for
my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”- Isaiah 6:5

Job beheld His glory and could only say:
“I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees You; therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”- Job 42:5-6

Here was a man that our God Himself considered most blameless on the earth! (Job 1:8) If Earth’s most holy repented in dust and ashes and became speechless before God I wonder what we demonstrate when we come with volumes and volumes of words which often mean nothing to us. Words we picked up from men that also picked them up in certain cold religious ritual. We have so much grown cold and estranged from the life of God that the basic duty, yet blessing, of our faith-worship- has been lost. I would rather become silent and muse upon the lofty holiness of God than utter words that are meaningless to Him. For worship is highest when the tongue goes dumb. I do not encourage that men hold all form of public worship in contempt, but this I do, I urge that the eye strives to see what the mouth utters in worship. That we begin to attend our confessions, during worship, with the holiest intentions, with a sacrifice of willingness and love and reverence.
The sum of all is this: when we are faced in worship with the glory of our God, the response left to us as unto all mortal is that blessed dumbness, or then its inherent reflex incoherence of Peter. Either way the Lord delights in and accepts it. No human experience has ever, neither will ever be, sufficiently equipped and programmed to express the Lord’s worship, and not with our limiting languages that have in fact failed to accurately express human feelings. How much less divine worship. (With the language of the Holy Spirit, I believe never in the history of the world has men been so favored to express the beauty of God's worship- but in an heavenly language. What a grief it must be to God’s heart that the sons of the dispensation of grace when He has so generously equipped them have fallen so dismally low in His worship- John 4:24)
May we learn to worship in silence and with worthy Holy! Amen in Jesus' name.
Written 2009.

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