Reverence and Praise
24 September 2016
Reading: Ezra 1; Psalms 84-85; Luke 7
16 Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, “A mighty prophet has risen among us,” and “We have seen the hand of God at work today.” 17 And the news of what Jesus had done spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside. (Luke 7:16-17 NLT)
When people see the hand of God at work, it’s going to produce a varied response. The people of the little Galilean village of Nain had just seen a remarkable miracle as Jesus interrupted a funeral procession and restored a widow’s only son to life. They realized that God was at work among them, right there in their own town!
They responded with reverence and awe at the compassion and power they saw demonstrated. Then when it hit them that they had just seen one of the village kids, the only son of his grieving mother, brought back to life on the way to the graveyard, they exploded in shouts of joy and thankfulness to God!
When we gather for worship, our healthy, heart-felt expression of worship to God can include quiet, reverent awe, and expressive, noisy gratitude. When we focus on God himself – it’s quiet, reverent worship. When we think of all he has done for us – it’s noisy gratitude! It’s more than style and culture. It’s more than personal preference. It’s the range of our heart-response to the scope of his majestic greatness.
I encourage you to join me throughout the day today, looking for signs that God’s hand is at work in our world. Let’s look for the reflections of his beauty, majesty, and greatness in the mountains, desert, or sea – in the clouds overhead and the flowers and trees along your path. Let’s look for his fingerprints in gracious words and compassionate acts of kindness – in gentle touches and warm smiles.
Noisily or quietly, let’s reverence his majesty, and rejoice in his kindness and grace!
Father, Thank you for all you are in your magnificence and majesty. You alone are worthy of reverence and awe. Thank you for all you do in your compassionate power toward us. You are truly our Good Shepherd and our gracious provider. Please help me – help us – to find the full range of expression of worship and gratitude to you. Draw our attention daily to your majesty and your mercy. May we come before you with heart-felt expressions of worship and praise. Amen.