Glorious Worship

Today is Friday, May 22, 2020, in the sixth week of Easter. Peace be with you!

Day 22,716

Three days until Memorial Day.

I’m on PTO today, so the blog entry is a bit later, this morning. Combined with Monday’s holiday, that gives me a four-day weekend, followed by another four-day work week. I like that. The downside is that I am missing today’s “free” lunch at work. Of course, as we all know, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” TANSTAAFL.

I haven’t reported and COVID-19 numbers, lately, but since my last report, the world has passed five million cases and three hundred thousand deaths. The USA had over twenty-eight thousand new cases, yesterday, a significant spike from recent days. Oddly enough, it is approximately fourteen days since we started re-opening places. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I don’t exactly have any plans for the day, or the weekend, for that matter. We won’t be going anywhere, really, for the holiday. I doubt we will even cook out. But we might. Who knows. It’s been a while since I cranked up the old grill. C is working today, so I’ll be trying to not bother her. I’ll stay in the study or the bedroom, maybe read a lot today. I won’t be playing on the PS4, though, until after she finishes work. There’s also a possibility that I will make the grocery run today. Of course, there will be Sonic drinks.

Little Luna (cat) is settling in quite nicely, I think. She’s an energetic little fluff of fur. I just went and said good morning to her. She had to get off the bed and run round my feet and legs for a few minutes.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

“Father, I abandon myself
into your hands.
Do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you.
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me
and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul.
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands
without reserve
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.”

Charles de Foucauld

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
(Psalms 105:4 ESV)

Today I am grateful:
1. For a long weekend and the rest it will bring
2. That You know my foolishness, and my wrongs are not hidden from You (Psalm 69.5)
3. For Your steadfast love and mercy, that never ends
4. That You have called everyone on earth to praise you
5. That You are patient with us when our worship is trivial and pretentious

O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant us Your peace.
(Agnus Dei)

O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
(Psalms 69:5 ESV)

When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions.
(Psalms 65:3 ESV)

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
(Matthew 6:22-23 ESV)

Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD! Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
(Psalms 25:6-11 ESV)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

“Almighty and merciful God, in your goodness keep me, I pray, from all things that may hurt me, that I, being ready both in mind and body, may accomplish with a free heart those things which belong to your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:16 ESV)

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.
(Psalms 116:5 ESV)

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
(Lamentations 3:22-25 ESV)

For the director of music. A song. A psalm.
Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious. Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.” Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind!

(Psalms 66:1-5 NIV)

Everyone on earth is called to praise God (verse 1). This praise consists of singing “the glory of His name,” and the awesomeness of His deeds (verses 2 and 3). The character of this praise, or the description of it, is “glorious” (verse 2).

So what, exactly, is glorious praise?

“‘Glory’ has connotations of weightiness, dignity, magnificence, and beauty. Glorious worship is exuberant, never halfhearted. It is attractive, not off-putting. It is awesome, never sentimental. It is brilliant, not careless. It points to God, not to the speakers. It fits its great object–it seeks to be as glorious as the one it praises. So worship should be ‘never trivial, never pretentious.'” (The quote within the quote is from Psalms 1-72: An Introduction and Commentary, by Derek Kidner)

Glorious worship is what will win the world.

“Lord, so much of the public worship of your church is indeed trivial and pretentious. Let my church–and churches across the world–begin to praise you ‘in Spirit and in truth’ (John 4:24). Grant us anointed worship–so beautiful that it attracts even those whose hearts are hardened toward you. Amen.”
(From The Songs of Jesus, by Timothy and Kathy Keller)

Father, I pray, along with the Kellers, that our worship of You would, indeed, be glorious. When we “gather” this Sunday, let there be no pretense or triviality in the content of our worship. May the worship we offer match the glory of the One whom we worship.
Lord, please shorten these days. Protect our families; protect our church families; protect our nation, and protect our world. We pray for this disease to end. And may we be quick to learn a valuable lesson from these days. Much of what we thought we needed, we truly don’t need. Teach us to worship.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1.24-25

Grace and peace, friends.

4 thoughts on “Glorious Worship

  1. Great stuff. I am a steadfast believer in the power and necessity of glorious worship and praise. Like me, you have probably read many books about worship. If you have not read “Glory on Your House” by Jack Hayford, I recommend it strongly. Shabbat Shalom, Jeff!

    1. Thanks! I’ve read more than I can remember. But not that one. I’ll look for that, see if I can find a Kindle edition. 🙂

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