Oh the Glory of it All on 11.5.11

Last weekend, we journeyed in worship from the epic hugeness of God…to the mind-blowing incarnation…to the daily walk with the Present Shepherd.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  After an opening corporate prayer and the classic hymn “Our Great Savior”, we moved into…

Movement one – God is Holy
Beginning by immersing ourselves in the scriptures, we read 5 passages about God’s holiness in one voice and sang a simple refrain.  This launched us into a driving version of “Holy Holy Holy”.  When the final verse (sung accapella) ended in a reverent place, the cello began to play underneath this quote:

God’s holiness is not simply the best we know, infinitely better. We know nothing like divine holiness. It stands apart, unique, unapproachable, incomprehensible, and unattainable.  (AW Tozer)

…which moved us into a cello-lead, new version of the Tomlin song “Holy is the Lord”.  After a short call and response prayer, we said “Amen” and sat down.

Movement two – God took on flesh
For the next ten minutes, we meditated on the great mystery of the Incarnation.  Sharon Irving and Phil Schawel partnered together to perform a pastoral reading of John 1, carried by the phenomenal Crowder song “Oh the Glory of it All“.  As they went back and forth, telling the story of God taking on flesh, I could feel my heart getting fuller and fuller…until it almost exploded during the final chorus and reading…

Oh the Glory of it all is: he came here
for the rescue of us all, that we may live
for the glory of it all, oh he is here
for redemption from the fall, that we may live
for the glory of it all, oh the glory of it all
the glory of it all, oh the glory of it all

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” (John 1:18-19)

Movement three – our response
In the hushed moments following this experience, in awe of the wonder of the Incarnation, I quietly said, “The Almighty, Holy, Creator of the Universe took on flesh for the redemption of us all – to invite us into an entirely new way to be human.  Oh the glory of it all.  In light of this, take a moment to say whatever it is you might want to say to God.”

After about a minute of silent prayer, Sharon lead us into the powerful old spiritual “I Want Jesus to Walk With Me.”  The church community stood and bellowed this great song with grateful hearts and humble commitment.

I have to admit that, personally, this was a deeply moving weekend for me.  At a handful of moments, I found myself swept up in the remembering the hugeness of God and the Epic- ness of the Story He’s invited us all into.  Oh the glory of it all…

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Posted by Aaron Niequist on 11.10.11 under Lead Worship, Weekend Experience.

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