In our desire to update the way we do church and to be more inclusive we have made changes that bring with them an attitude of what I call a casual faith… The subject this week is the lack of the above. There is a sense of greatness and splendor in Psalm 8 that addresses this attitude of a casual faith. How we do church has changed a great deal over the years, some changes were good and needed and others have marginalized our worship of God. We must remember that there are different ways to worship among the many Christian denominations that are out there. I consider those listed in the title above as extremely important values in developing our relationship with God. We should also be aware that God does not dwell in buildings made with hands, but in the hearts of people who call Him Lord and Savior. Jesus said to those who follow Him, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have it a den of thieves'” (Matt. 20:13).
There is a lack of reverence due to the increasing casual attitude that seems to be prevalent in our worship today. This I believe is the result of our loss of respect given to elders, strangers and people we come in contact with in our daily travels. This lack of respect is motivated by external pressures of a changing society and the cultural change that is driven by agendas that do not have Christian values as a motivating factor. This change in our respect “for” has extended itself into our worship of God, our creator. It would help to understand the biblical meaning of reverence in any evaluation of our situation. We best consider these words as we move through this. Reverence is showing honor and respect, deference and a sense of profound and adoring awe. In some instances it can be a nod of the head, in some churches it is a simple bowing of the head. I add this because it is so rare these days, this silence of revered respect when we are in God’s house. Reverence is a deep spiritually motivated state of being, it comes from within but manifests itself in our actions and demeanor.
Now a closer look at respect from a biblical perspective. Respect for God comes from experience, that’s right, having a relationship with God who’s actions in your life have led you to value his presence and an awareness that causes you to want to give respect and honor to Him, for He has existed before you were born. The next value we encounter would be that of Holy Ground. We find the phrase Holy Ground used only twice in the Bible, once in the Old Testament Exodus 3: 5 … Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Then we have the time that Stephen was preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ before the Sanhedrin and reminded them of that time Moses encountered God. We find this in Acts 7:33 …Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. These two biblical verses can be read as an example of what Holy Ground should mean to a Christian. This holy ground as with any other place or structure is made holy and considered sacred by the presence of God. Reverence, awe and a deep spiritual awareness are appropriate for coming into the place set apart for the worship of God, for wherever the Lord is constitutes holy ground. The only other thing we might add to all of this is the majesty, strength and glory, of his presence.
Micha 5:4. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
No matter how you do church there must always be Reverence and Respect for His Majesty and awareness of Holy Ground, made so by his presence. Paul and Timothy had much to say about the attitude and order of worship. May we always enter His house with prayers of thanksgiving and respect for where we are…. We are standing on Holy Ground….
Life is Good