“To this one I will look,” God says through Isaiah, “to the one who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isa. 66:2). God most high is also God most nigh! In the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth he has joined our humanity. By the Spirit of the Risen Jesus Christ he has come to us again. God calls us to celebrate, to rejoice in his presence, to shout with thanksgiving and with delight!
Christian worship reflects the full spectrum of reverent reaction to the reality of God. Sometimes we bow or kneel in total silence, properly awed by God most high. At other times we make a loud noise to the Lord, celebrating and rejoicing in the mercies of God most nigh. Both expressions are appropriate at times but neither is exclusively so. People may “go through the motions” with either, copying others, conforming to what is expected, repeating rote words or actions. There is no inherent virtue in either set of externals.
Genuine worship always flows sincerely, from a humble and contrite heart — no matter what the details in the program. Particular style and forms vary from culture and place and generation. But the acceptable heart everywhere remains the same. The God who is so far above us also resides deep within us. The God most high is also the God most nigh. The transcendent God is also immanent. In every place and in every way, let all that breathes praise his holy name!