The holiest we enter
In perfect peace with God;
Through whom we found our centre
In Jesus and His blood:
Though great may be our dullness
In thought and word and deed,
We glory in the fulness
Of Him that meets our need.
Much incense is ascending
Before the eternal throne;
God graciously is bending
To hear each feeble one;
To all our prayers and praises
Christ adds His sweet perfume,
And He the censer raises
These odours to consume.
O God, we come with singing,
Because Thy great High Priest
Our names to Thee is bringing,
Nor e’er forgets the least:
For us He wears the mitre,
Where “Holiness” shines bright;
For us His robes are whiter
Than heaven’s unsullied light.
—Mary Bowley (1813-1856)
The exalted Lord Jesus Christ is the only priest we need for constant access to God (Heb. 8:1-6; 10:19-23). Our ‘altar’ is the cross, where Jesus shed his blood to make us his holy people (Heb. 13:10-12). Since He was ‘sacrificed once to take away the sins of many’ (Heb. 9:28; 10:10, 14), there are no prescribed rituals for us to follow. Worship is to be expressed in every sphere of life, as a grateful response to the saving work of Christ.
—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together, 20
Psa. 15:1 O LORD, who shall sojourn in Your tent?
Who shall dwell on Your holy hill?
Apart from being in Christ, God’s tent is not a safe place for sinners.
—Matt Mason, “The Worship Leader and Singing,” in Doxology and Theology: How the Gospel Forms the Worship Leader, 197
[Lewis had just addressed his correspondent’s concern for the troubles of the world] Tomorrow [Easter] we shall celebrate the glorious Resurrection of Christ. I shall be remembering you in the Holy Communion. Away with tears and fears and troubles! United in wedlock with the eternal Godhead Itself, our nature ascends into the Heaven of Heaven. So it would be impious to call ourselves “miserable.” On the contrary, Man is a creature whom the Angels—were they capable of envy—would envy. Let us lift up our hearts!
—C.S. Lewis, The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Volume II, Letter of March 27, 1948
Worship fulfills God’s love. He loves people so vastly that He wills to exalt them to something better than greatness; He wants to bring them into an honored nearness to Him.
—Stephen C. Hawthorne, “The Story of God’s Glory,” 37