The God of Overwhelming Greatness

In our worship services God simply doesn’t come through for who he is. He is unwittingly belittled. For those who are stunned by the indescribable magnitude of what God has made, not to mention the infinite greatness of the One who made it, the steady diet on Sunday morning of practical “how to’s” and psychological soothing and relational therapy and tactical planning seem dramatically out of touch with Reality—the God of overwhelming greatness.

—John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions, 12-13

Defining Worship 5

Worship is an act of the understanding, applying itself to the knowledge of the excellency of God, and actual thoughts of His majesty. . . . It is also an act of the will, whereby the soul adores and reverenceth His majesty, is ravished with His amiableness, embraceth His goodness, enters itself into an intimate communion with this most lovely object, and pitcheth all his affections upon Him.

—Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), Works 1.298 (cited in J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, 251)

How shall I sing that majesty?

How shall I sing that majesty
Which angels do admire?
Let dust, in dust and silence lie:
sing, sing, ye heavenly choir.

Thousands of thousands stand around
Thy throne, O God most high;
Ten thousand times ten thousand sound
Thy praise; but who am I?

They sing because Thou art their Sun;
Lord, send a beam on me;
For where heaven is but once begun
There alleluyas be.

I shall, I fear, be dark and cold,
With all my fore and light;
Yet when Thou dost accept their gold,
Lord, treasure up my mite.

Enlighten with faith’s light my heart,
Inflame it with love’s fire;
Than shall I sing and bear a part
With the celestial choir.

—John Mason (17th-century hymnwriter)