Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Holy Place of Worship


Psa. 96:7        Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
        ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
8     Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
        bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9     Worship the LORD in holy splendor;
        tremble before him, all the earth.


The challenge of the Psalmist is to "ascribe to the Lord." The people were to bring with them “Yahweh’s glory and strength, the glory due his name.” (Bratcher, R. G., & Reyburn, W. D. (1991). A translator’s handbook on the book of Psalms (p. 835). New York: United Bible Societies.) That’s what “ascribe” really meant — the bringing in with them this glory and this glory often represents the holiness of God. The people themselves were to be in a holy relationship with God so that when they entered the temple, the entire place would be filled up with his holy splendor. God’s holy people were to worship him in holiness and this resulted in a holy place of worship.


When I was a little girl we used to have  a three-way mirror in our home. It was back in the days when women teased their hair and mom needed to be able to see what the back of her head looked like! That’s why this mirror was so important.

Here’s a picture of me trying to do my hair in that old three-way mirror when I was just two!

I still remember playing with that mirror and I found it very fascinating. If you placed it in just the right angle you could look into and it seemed as if you could see forever. One reflection would lead to another which would lead to another which would lead to another. I often wondered if I were actually seeing infinity!

We are called to be reflections of Jesus Christ and if his nature is holy, then the reflection of him will be holy. As God’s people, who are reflecting him, gather together for worship, then they become the mirrors which are reflecting the mirrors, which are reflecting the mirrors. It goes on and on forever!

Could this be the message of the Psalm? When all of God’s people gather together and reflect his glory it becomes one reflection after another and the place of worship becomes a holy place of worship because of the intensity of the glory of God. Of course, this is only possible when God’s people are spending time with him — drawing closer to him — and reflecting him in a powerful way.

The Psalmist invites us into a holy place of worship. This is Sunday — a day when many will gather for worship. What will you experience today? If you don’t experience a holy place of worship — a place where the Lord’s holy splendor ministers to your heart — then maybe it’s time to have a spiritual check-up. When we don’t sense the presence of the Lord it’s not because of a pastor’s sermon or the type of music that we sing — but the reflections of Christ that we bring into the sanctuary.

May we worship today and  bring with us the radiant glory of our holy God.

Lord, please help me to seek you every single day of my life and draw closer to you.  Amen.
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