On the glorious splendor of your majesty,

and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

Psalm 145: 5

 

The bible can be something of a word museum, for it is a place where language that seems to come from another time and a different sort of place can be found and considered. Majesty and its adjectival form, majestic, are like that. We don’t use those words much today. This may be the result of a modern aesthetic that doesn’t incorporate this concept in that things are too clean and efficient today to be granted the mass and the non-productive lines that gain the descriptor, “majestic.” But I think that there is something else beyond pragmatics involved in its removal from modern society’s list of useful, descriptive expression. Majesty suggests something or someone that rises high above the rest, that is ascendant and that stands in a superior position in relationship to all of the rest of our world. We struggle with accepting the fact that there can be people and things that can be in such an elevated place relative to us, and people truly fight against placing God onto such a plain.

 

We tend to desire a god who operates mostly like a well-intentioned friend or neighbor. We are good with comfort and advice, but we are ready to leave the kitchen when the conversation turns to moral and ethical absolutes and to righteous living. These are the field wherein our own understanding is the one that rules the day as we write out the rulebook for life with easily changeable words and ideas that we hold close to our own hands so that they can be changed as needed to suit the path of travel that brings about comfort and satisfaction. This approach makes it hard to contemplate a god who stands apart from us on a level of absolute righteousness and justice. This bringing down of God to my level also makes it much harder to grasp and to understand the magnitude of Christ’s gift of love, grace, and redemption. For if He operates solely at my level as an understanding companion and a voice of reason in a troubled world, the depth of descent that the cross required and the enormity of the sacrifice that God endured in order to bring about salvation and redemption for me can not be truly appreciated. Christ came from the greatest of heights to enter the deepest of depths in order to grant you and I the right to stand blameless before Holy God.

 

This fact and the reality that it conjures up are worthy of my meditation and contemplation. If I am to truly appreciate God for who He is and in light of His nature, I need to take a step back from the rapid pace and the efficient processes of my day so that I can kneel in humble submission before the wonder and the greatness of God. He is truly ascendant above all of creation, which is all the work of God’s own hands, and the Lord applies His benevolent rule to every aspect of existence. There is nothing that is outside of God’s authority or beyond the application of His Word. There is also nothing that any of us will encounter that is not covered by God’s grace and wherein we will journey outside of the possibility of His mercy and redemption. As I draw breath, Christ desires for me to use the life that it gives as a testimony to His presence within me and to His love for the world that I touch. This life that I have is a gift that my Lord has granted to me to live out in righteous peace and justice in conformity to God’s Word and in response to His Spirit’s direction. I come to know this direction as I meditate on the truth of His Word and as I contemplate the living majesty of my Lord.