I am in awe of the mystery

All the angels cry out

“Holy is the Lord”

All the earth replies

“Holy are You”

hands-raised

People are standing, hands outstretched, reaching for something they cannot touch with their fingers.

I’m standing among them, hands grasping the chair in front of me, tapping the rhythm of the music. My eyes wander, watching these people who are so focused on their own worship that no thought is given to judging the people around them. There is a freshness, a realness in the air that makes me breathe lighter.

I am taking Biblical Literature II over the month of January, which means I spend every day studying the New Testament for a grade. No surprise, then, that by the weekend the last thing I want to look at is my bible.Β Last week covered all four of the gospels, and as I spent each day studying Jesus’ character and passion, he came alive. He leapt off of the cartoon picture bible I had as a kid and became living, breathing, feeling. He became human to me for the first time. He was a person I was beginning to understand.

It is the first time I have been to church since the beginning of the January term.Β My head and heart are both here, listening, processing. It is the first time I have been fully present in church for months–maybe even years. I have fought and struggled to reconcile the God I am supposed to know in the church, large and powerful and demanding of our respect, to the friend, artist, and companion I know when I leave the building.

I realize I am finally making progress.

The worship draws to a close and the pastor asks us to pray with him. He closes his eyes and begins to speak earnestly, and I shut my eyes.

And I think, about this Jesus who had no qualms about rocking the boat and the status quo, so much so that people would rather see him dead than feel the way he made them feel. A man who defied gender roles and challenged authority. Whoever believed Jesus had no fire in him was definitely wrong. Jesus wasn’t fireless, he simply knew how to channel it.

I close my eyes and try to connect them, this human I have grown to know and love more than I ever have before, and the king of the heavens that created gravity and invited the world into being.

And suddenly it clicks. And the tears burn under my eyelids as I stand in awe of the heavenly man who gave everything, even himself, to push us and grow us and love us with more ferocity than we ever knew love could be.

Love runs through his veins, pulsing for us. He will rant about our stupidity and be (rightly) furious with us, but the love never stops.

The love never stops.

This is my worship, tonight, this awe.

Worship with me?

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