The Splendor of Holiness

There is little that is more personally
satisfying in my life than to stride past my yard
after it has been newly cut. I absolutely LOVE
to cut my grass. After mowing, I always edge
and then blow off the remains. Then—and this
for me is the premier moment—I leisurely
walk past all the work that I have done,
relishing the clean mower lines and the neatly
formed edges. In fact, for several days after,
every time I drive away from the house, I go
slowly in order to view again the results, often
looking in the side mirror for one final glimpse
as I pull away from home toward my daily
responsibilities. Sometimes I even take extra
time to drive back and forth past my house
just to gawk. I know, this is weird. It is
especially weird since our yard is not exactly
“Better Homes and Gardens.” Still, we are
proud of what we have accomplished over the
years. I dearly love the neat lines and the
carefully trimmed edges. There is something
about my yard being in order that brings me
peace and comfort. Strolling sweat-soaked
along my freshly-attended curbing is for me a
significant source of gratification and
tranquility. Virtually nothing in my life
produces inner quiet as well as good order.
I have said this before, but will repeat it
here: the older I get, the more I like things to
be the way I like things to be. To my surprise,
what I expected to be true in my “old age” has
not necessarily turned out to be true (for the
most part). For instance, as a young parent, I
assumed that once my children reached
adulthood and began to fend for themselves,
my stress level would diminish (HA!).

I now know that that is not reality (and
sorry to all the parents of children still in
school and at home—your concern for
them will never go away. In fact, it will only
But I definitely like things to be the way
I like them to be. I like things to be orderly
and “normal.” I like life to travel a
particular, well-worn path. I do not like
surprises. Rather, I prefer things decent
and in order.
This brings me to my main point, which
I present here in question form: When we
assemble for worship as the family of God
at West Metro, what are we expecting?
What is it that we seek? Do we pursue an
encounter with the Creator of the universe,
with hearts and minds wide open to marvel
at the mystery and majesty of God? Or, do
we hope to ensure that everything that
occurs within the confines of our service of
worship is done decently and in order—
that is, that everything is done “correctly,”
according to the understanding that we
have developed over the years about what
is and what is not to be included in
worship? I realize that these two options
may not be mutually exclusive. Yet, I am
struggling to find a way in which to fully
harmonize them. I also realize that this
discussion likely makes some of us
uncomfortable. That is a good thing. We
are not gathering in the presence of a
perfect and holy God in order to feel
comfortable. If being comfortable is the
goal, we need to pray to that holy God that
he will convict us and shake us out of our
stagnation. Our purpose in congregating is
to encounter the God of Heaven, and to
live out that encounter—every day.
I have another question, one that I
believe is crucial for us to contemplate and
consider as the people of God. But I am
saving that question for the sermon.
Please wrestle with these thoughts as we
come together in fellowship and worship in
order to be confronted by the magnificence
and splendor of our holy God. –Rick

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