Exodus 19 on Aug 9
This week we are reading Exodus 19 and thinking about how we approach the Lord in worship. Are we casual, reverent, cavalier, respectful?
I have appreciated reflecting on this familiar quote from Annie Dillard in Teaching a Stone to Talk. She worries that we have have forgotten how dangerous it is to come into the presence of the Living God:
On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of the conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews.
See you on Sunday. I’ll be wearing the kevlar.
August 6, 2009 @ 7:27 pm
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Heb 10:31. In the French, “fearful” is rendered “terrible.” In English, “terrible” originated from late Middle English in the sense of causing terror. Your graphic well illustrates that sense. As for me, I will remain clothed in the righteousness of Christ. It is the only protection.
August 6, 2009 @ 9:19 pm
I liked this a lot, and John, same goes for your comment. Re: what to wear . . . maybe the apron of humility? And as for footwear, I’ve often thought we should really go barefoot, a la the early Exodus story from a few weeks back, but I guess that’s not really practical, so I’ll just go discalced, like the Carmelites do 🙂
August 8, 2009 @ 9:13 pm
Maybe some Spock ears (do they pick up the message better?). I grew up in the church, but so frequently am frustrated by how poor my follow through can be. I want my hearing to translate to doing. If my listening is finely tuned (ears and heart connected), the submission of my will is the next, interdependent, step to active listening.
This is why I am so grateful for the confession each week. I can’t hide when we as a community are confessing together that we have fallen short of the glory of God.
August 9, 2009 @ 9:11 pm
Erica, so right there with you on all counts but never could have said it so well. With respect to confession, I try to be “on it” 24/7, but, no surprise, very much fall short. The group confession on Sundays is critical for me. My only wish is that the personal, silent confession time was longer. I find that as specific things come to my mind, I confess them to God, but then run out of time and end up saying, “And everything else, God, and oh there is so much.” Communion is so much more meaningful, and so much sweeter having come before God soon before in confession. Spock ears, YES, but really what I need is the “connectors” and the “submission” you mention. So glad to be in a community where we can talk (blog) about this, give each other ideas on how to make it happen and encourage each other.