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“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rustdestroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21, ESV)

 

10 of 12

Chad Karger

We snuck away for an overnight in the country and I left the blogging behind in favor of four wheelers and campfires. The stars were bright that night and the air was cooling off without any clouds to trap the warmth. We woke up the next morning to a chilly northern wind and bundled up and headed outside for more!

When I stop to think about it, outdoors there are so many variables that I can't control. In my daily work I am very tempted to forget this, thinking that the world revolves around me and mine. I need the gentle reminders.

For what can be known about God has been made plane to [us]. For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. (Romans 1:19-20).

Today, on the tenth day of Christmas, I want to consider the other aspect of God's character that can't be done away with or ignored. God is holy. Whereas God is imminent in creation, he remains transcendent in his essence. 

To speak of God's holiness is to speak of all his attributes in the purest since. To speak of God's holiness is to describe God's essence, which is only glimpsed in our current life but one that we will see “face to face” the Day of our Lord. We will be made like him.

When the church loses sight of God's imminence, liturgy becomes esoteric. God is marginalized in the metaphysics. 

When the church loses sight of God's transcendence (holiness), liturgy becomes trivial.  God is marginalized in the mundane. 

The Holy Spirit through Scripture guides the church toward a rightly tensioned liturgy and expression in worship according to the reality before whom we bow and celebrate.

Back to those stars hanging above our campfire.... We tried to identify the different constellations. In the end, we just found our place in a vast expanse. As far and wide, as immeasurable as the nighttime sky seemed to us that night, so God's holiness is as comforting as it is awe inspiring. He is near. Yet, God is so infinitely far from our experience. Our only response can be that of worshipping the incomparable God! 

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. (Isaiah 40:25)