Only a joyful yet awe-filled heart—an exuberant decorum—can keep pomp and sentimentality from mimicking the two true poles of biblical worship: awe and intimacy.
—Timothy J. Keller, “Reformed Worship in the Global City,” in D.A. Carson, ed., Worship by the Book, 214
“Rejoice with trembling.” (Psalm 2:11)
How simply the Psalmist (in 2:11) expressed the delicate balance between God’s transcendence and immanence as we come to Him in worship:
Nowhere in Scripture is worship actually defined. Prayer, praise, confession, sacrifice, faith, obedience, and many other terms describe different aspects of worship. But when three key word groups are examined in different contexts, it is clear that homage, reverence and service to God are central to the concept of worship.
—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together, 29
We leave our places of worship and no deep and inexpressible wonder sits on our faces. We can sing these lilting melodies; and when we get out into the streets our faces are one with the faces of those who have left the theatres and music halls. There is nothing about us to suggest that we’ve been looking at anything stupendous and overwhelming. Far back in my boyhood I remember an old saint telling me that after some services he liked to make his way home alone by quiet bypaths, so that the hush of the Almighty might remain on his awed and prostrated soul. That is the element we are missing.
—J. H. Jowett (1863-1923)