“The Holiness of God”
June 17, 2020
To be preached 6/21/2020
The Holiness of God
It is said that when Leonardo DaVinci was painting the picture of the Last Supper he finished painting, all the faces except one. He could not bring himself to paint the face of Jesus. He didn’t feel worthy. He eventually completed it, and spent much less time on Jesus’ face than any of the others. He just couldn’t dwell on it. Just thinking about the Holiness of Christ, the Holiness of God gave him great pause. And that is how I feel about talking about the Holiness of God; Unworthy.
Today we would have sang Holy, Holy, Holy, which may be my favorite hymn. I love to sing it in Church with the help of Angela and Rick. We sang it often as a congregational hymn. I try to keep us from singing it too often, but I love to sing it. I can really get into worship in the midst of that song:
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, Holy, holy! Merciful and mighty
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.
Pretty much says it all doesn’t it? Or does it? Holy is our God Almighty. Early in the morning we should rise and Worship Him in His Holiness. I think if we were still living in the Garden of Eden we would be rising at sunrise Praising His Holy Name! Holy, Holy, Holy, Merciful and Mighty. Merciful… Mighty… All Powerful… All Mighty. Do you know of any more worthy of Worship than The Almighty… Our Almighty?
Holy, Holy, Holy… God in three Persons, blessed Trinity. All Mighty, All Powerful, All Encompassing, the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost. We think about the Holiness of God the Father easily enough, but do you often dwell on the Holiness of God the Son, Jesus Christ? He walked the dirty roads. He cried at His friend’s tomb. He mourned the beheading of His cousin John the Baptist. He was fully human. AND He was completely God, Holy… Holy.
The Holiness of God can not be captured in one four letter word. Holy does not come close to scratching the surface of the Holiness of God. The depth, the breadth, the height of His Holiness, His Glory can not be captured in a word, in a phrase or a sermon. But, I keep writing words and know I am not getting any closer.
As we look at scenes of heaven in the Bible we almost always see singing. Worshipers and angels often sing Holy, Holy, Holy. We see it in the Old Testament in Isaiah, and in the New Testament in the Revelation; “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)
God’s Holiness is a Purity beyond our comprehension. I remember Ivory Soap bragging that it was 99&44/100% pure. God is so far beyond that that we can’t comprehend it. That is what is at the center of our problem, we cannot comprehend Pure Holiness.
Like God’s Love, Mercy and Grace, God’s Holiness is not something He has, it is Who He Is. He is Holy as He is Love. He is Holy as He is Gracious. He is Holy as He is Merciful. It is Who He is. It is His make-up.
The world we live in has gotten too deeply into us. It is in our minds and in our pores. Through the centuries of decline beginning with the first sin in the Garden, we have lost sight of what Pure Holiness looks like. We have not only lost sight of what Pure Holiness looks like, we have probably lost the ability to define it in a way that gives it credibility. We were made in God’s image and have turned from that and rarely look back.
King David knew a little about worship. Between the moments of his weaknesses, he worshiped God and Worshipped Him with abandon. Remember the scene of King David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant as it was being brought into Jerusalem? (2 Samuel 6:12-15) Without reservation, without worrying what anyone around him would think, David danced before the Ark and before the Lord in absolute Worship. Where has that gone?
In Psalm 96:9 King David says Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Splendor, Holiness, Trembling; to us those, too many times, are just words. We can’t imagine heaven, much less the Splendor of God and His absolute Holiness. Have we lost sight of God, or have we simply re-made Him into an image we are more comfortable with? Do we look for a God that doesn’t ask too much of us? Are we looking for a too easy, to comfortable Christianity? Do we seek a Cross that does not ask so much of us?
We can’t Worship a God that is not asking enough. I don’t think we can Worship a God Whose Holiness is not Pure However, we do have a God Who is Pure and is Holy. And He is asking for Worship with that in mind. He has offered to us the life of His Son, how can we offer any less? Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 what God is looking for, and what Paul recommends:
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? (NLT)
Offer yourselves, your whole lives, nothing less. And as in our hearts today we sing Holy, Holy, Holy, Worship Him in His Glory.
Bostwick UMC 6/21/20
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