Filled with Awe? Not really

Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
    tremble before him, all the earth. (Ps. 96:9)

I have turned this verse over in my mind and spirit this morning. The thought of how to worship the Lord in the “splendor of his holiness” drives me crazy because I have to dig hard to find out what that phrase means. The reason I have to dig hard is we don’t have any idea what it means to be struck with awe any more.

We have no more sense of awe.

We have reduced our worship so much to our own feelings and our own circumstances, we think having an anxiety placated is something special.

We have reduced a sense of wonder to hoping to be recognized by a celebrity as they pass us by in a crowd.

Lost on us in our current culture and historical place is a sense of utter awe. Respect.

We have long lost the “titles.” There are good things about that… and not so good things about that. Being called by a certain “title” without the authority behind it just isn’t right. It gives us entitlement.

And then when WE are called by a title, we too often quickly respond, “No! Just call me (by my first name).”

The familiar has pulled us away from the sense of AWE. We are not struck by something or even someone beyond us.  We have entered into a new place where we don’t think someone is “beyond” us because, well, we’re just pretty stinking awesome all by ourselves.

So, when we hit a verse like this and think about trembling… we think, “WHY? He’s just my Daddy and I want to crawl up in his lap and cuddle!”

Our insistence on being impressed by so little has diminished us. There aren’t things that capture us and truly take our breath away any more. And when our worship is so diminished, and we aren’t truly awed by God any more, his holiness gets diminished and we have reduced our image of God… to us. We have made him in our image.

My prayer today is to be truly recaptured… awed… by his presence. To tremble before him… because HE is God, and I, most decidedly, am not!

pope francis prayer

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