Holy and majestic Lord, who can disregard you and live? Who can despise the power of your word and survive? Men have approached you carelessly and discovered your wrath. Priests, prophets, and saints let down their guard in observing your commands and were consumed by your ire. The newly formed people of Israel trembled before Sinai, pleaded with Moses to hear your word and pass it on to them, and with such fear and reverence you were pleased.
O God, none there is in all the earth like you. You tread across the mountain chains and leave fire and smoke in your wake. You churn the oceans and tumble the clouds as you pass. If men fell down as dead before the glory of angels, how much more shall we flee from your appearing and tremble at your greatness!
The world wants a manageable god reduced to human size. The language of familiarity, of chumminess, has replaced the awe before your sovereignty. Profane men ridicule reverence, having turned their backs on your glory.
We catch but a glimpse of your glory, O Lord, but that sliver of sacred Being pierces us to the core and leaves us groaning in desperation at our finiteness and sin. Woe is me! For I have seen the Holy One and he is implacable in purity and unbending in justice!
It is then we begin to comprehend, our Father, the heinousness of our state and preciousness of the price paid on a dark hill outside Jerusalem. We can only speak because you have descended with divine relief, whose name is Jesus. Amen.
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