Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD! 2 Blessed be the name of the LORD From this time forth and forevermore! 3 From the rising of the sun to its going down The LORD’s name [is] to be praised. 4 The LORD [is] high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. 5 Who [is] like the LORD our God, Who dwells on high, 6 Who humbles Himself to behold [The things that are] in the heavens and in the earth? 7 He raises the poor out of the dust, [And] lifts the needy out of the ash heap, 8 That He may seat [him] with princes–With the princes of His people. 9 He grants the barren woman a home, Like a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD!PSALM 113:1-9
HE IS GLORIOUS IN WAYS GREAT AND SMALL
There are two different aspects of God that are magnified in how our churches often conduct worship. Some churches have what we might call “high church.” Often the ceilings in these worship spaces are high and designed to help the worshipper feel small. The aspects of the service focus on the transcendence of God (His greatness, otherness, bigness, holiness, etc.). The music comes through a large organ, orchestra, choir and other elements designed to get us to see the magnificence of God. People gather together dressed in their “Sunday best.” These elements all reflect that God is big.
Other churches meet in renovated spaces like old shopping centers. The ceilings are low. People wear jeans to worship. The music is often conducted through instruments like guitars and drums. These churches are emphasizing the Immanence of God. (Think Immanuel… “God with us.”) Their worship style celebrates that God has reached down to us in our lowly position.
Who is right? Well they both are! They are just emphasizing different aspects of who God is. I love this Psalm because it emphasizes both that God is high and mighty and that he stoops to help the lowly. What grace!
The whole universe declares His glory! Yet he stoops low to hear our humble prayers. He meets us at our moment of greatest need. He raises us out of our humble circumstances and introduces us to the riches of His grace! What a mighty God we serve indeed.
It can be difficult to hold these two aspects of God’s character in tension, but we must. We must never let His greatness eclipse His willingness to meet us where we are. We must never forget that God has come to us. Yet we must not also not take His grace for granted. He has stooped low so that He might raise us up!
Father, Thank you that you are both transcendent and immanent. We rejoice to know that you are sovereign over the universe and yet you condescend to meet us in our moments of need. You hear the prayers of the needy and afflicted. I am grateful that we can call out to you and know that you hear us. Meet us in our needs today. Let us be upheld by our great grace today and worship you with all of our hearts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.