18th December 2013

O Come, Let Us Adore Him 

“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendour of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.”
Psalm 96:8-9 (NIV UK) 

I was reading C S Lewis’s autobiography, Surprised by Joy. Usually I prefer fiction to autobiography…. but this was C S Lewis, so I made an exception. He wrote: “We are taught … to ‘give thanks to God for his great glory,’ as if we owed Him more thanks for being what he necessarily is than for any particular benefit He confers upon us; and so indeed we do and to know God is to know this” (Lewis, C S: Surprised by Joy, HarperCollins, 1977, p. 65). 

As you see, Lewis touches upon two kinds of praise given to God: the thankful response for what he has given us, and the sense of awe and adoration for what he is. In a sense, we worship him for the very glory and power that he put aside in coming to earth to live as a mortal and die for our sins. One of the best hymns I know expressing this is the well-known Christmas Carol, O Come, All Ye Faithful, where we sing “O come, let us adore Him.” 

When we think about worshipping God, perhaps it is easier to find words to give praise for what he does, than for what he is. It is hard for human minds to hold on to the concept of what the psalmist calls, in one translation “the beauty of holiness”. We may have grieved at its converse, the ugliness of sin and its effects; we may have delighted in human acts of good principle, of kindness or self-sacrifice; we may appreciate moral rectitude for its own sake; but God himself has to open our hearts to believe in him and to understand the purity of his nature. Our very awareness of God becomes an act of God, and an expression of his glory. 

If the Psalms are anything to go by, there is conflict involved, because God in his holiness is not like us, and the difference leaves you either wrestling him to understand your angle or fighting the limitations of your own nature to recognise him. Where we step beyond that conflict, we worship God for his intrinsic worth as distinct from what we ourselves have or expect to receive (Revelation 4:10). 

Prayer
Lord God Almighty, let us lay down before you all that we value in order to testify to your worth.
Amen
 

Study by Fiona Jones

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fionajones1About the Author:
Fiona Jones attends the Worldwide Church of God UK in Perth/Fife where she assists her husband in his pastoral role there.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Perth
Combination of house churches and monthly outreach service and lunch
Gillespie Centre, Dunfermline, fortnightly
House churches on other Saturdays

Meeting Time:
11am Saturday,

Contact:
Email:  info@gracecom.org.uk

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