Last night, my wife and I enjoyed new fellowship at a small group within our local church. The house and property were nestled into the country roads and hay fields of the flat, green valley. We sang the worship hymns from my childhood years under the shade trees of a hospitable family.
It occurred to me how many years it had been since I had enjoyed such a scenario. As we sang, the tears began to flow. Thankfulness. I became aware that the Family of God is large enough to meet needs which a natural family cannot. Or will not.
Archbishop William Temple of Canterbury (d. 1944)
penned these words:
“worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose — and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.”
Worship, honest and complete worship, gets all of who you are. We feel that time is expanding before us as “He who inhabits eternity” is actually “inhabiting our praises” — we are aware of the Presence.
This has been a reality of God-worshipers throughout time and cultures. It is possible right were you are right now. Or you could have met Him June 14th under shade trees beside the hay fields of rural Montana.
Ravi Zacharias is one of my favorite speakers on the things of God.
“The older you get, the more it takes to fill your heart with wonder, and only God is big enough to fill it. Meaning comes from wonder, truth, love and security. And God, who is the perpetual novelty, who gave us the Son who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, who loved you and gave Himself for you on the Cross and says, ‘Because I live, you shall live also.’ That’s when meaning comes in.”
It occurred to me afresh that you and I have the ability to know God better than Adam ever did in the pristine Garden. In his innocence, Adam remained ignorant of Grace. That perfect God reached downward and outward to the down-and-out. Among the thistled fields, we find the God who is intent to solve our souls.
Though He never changes, He remains the only perpetual novelty. Worship remains our most noble ambition and destiny.